European Shares Likely To See Cautious Gains

European stocks may see cautious gains on Wednesday as doubts persist over the global economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.

Asian markets are moving lower, though the downside remains limited as investors watch the latest news on vaccine development and U.S.-China trade talks.

Amid somewhat mixed signals from economic indicators recently, there is lot of focus on the Fed’s chair Jerome Powell’s highly anticipated speech later this week.

Economists expect Powell to use forward guidance to send a dovish message that rates will remain low for a long time.

The dollar nursed losses against most currencies, with the yuan rising toward a seven-month high after top U.S. and Chinese officials said they saw progress on resolving issues over their Phase one trade deal.

Meanwhile, Chinese President Xi Jinping warned that the world’s second-biggest economy must be prepared for a period of “turbulent change” amid rising protectionism and supply chain disruption.

Gold traded flat, while crude oil prices hit a five-month high after U.S. producers shut most offshore output in the Gulf of Mexico ahead of Hurricane Laura.

Consumer sentiment data from France is due later in the session, headlining a light day for the European economic news.

Across the Atlantic, a report on durable goods orders may sway sentiment ahead of Powell’s speech at Jackson Hole on Thursday.

Overnight, U.S. stocks ended mixed as a gauge of U.S. consumer confidence dropped in August to the lowest since 2014 and China called a U.S. spy plane’s flight through a no-fly zone a “naked provocation”, further ratcheting up tensions between Beijing and Washington.

While the Dow eased 0.2 percent, the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite rose 0.8 percent and the S&P 500 gained 0.4 percent to reach fresh record closing highs.

European stocks gave up early gains to end mostly lower on Tuesday despite impressive German data, positive news on the coronavirus front and signs of progress in U.S.-China trade negotiations.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 index shed 0.3 percent. The German DAX and France’s CAC 40 index both ended the session nearly unchanged, while the U.K.’s FTSE 100 lost 1.1 percent.

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