European Shares Seen Tad Higher In Cautious Trade


European stocks may open on a positive note Wednesday as traders look ahead to remarks by Fed Chair Jerome Powell and several other Fed officials for clues on the monetary policy outlook.

Powell is due to testify before the House Financial Services Committee later today and the Senate Banking Committee on Thursday after deciding to leave interest rates unchanged at last week’s FOMC meeting.

The Bank of England’s interest rate decision is due on Thursday, with the central bank expected to raise interest rates by a quarter point to a 15-year high of 4.75 percent, marking its 13th straight rate rise.

The pound will be sensitive to U.K. consumer price inflation data due out later in the day.

Asian markets traded mostly lower on disappointment over a lack of new stimulus to lift slowing growth in China.

Gold hovered near three-month lows as the dollar found footing following surprisingly strong U.S. housing data released overnight.

Oil prices edged higher after a couple of sessions of losses on concerns about Chinese demand.

U.S. stocks declined overnight as investors awaited Fed Chair’s congressional testimony and comments by a number of other Fed officials.

Strong housing data also revived concerns about the outlook for inflation and interest rates.

The Dow gave up 0.7 percent, the S&P 500 shed half a percent and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite eased 0.2 percent.

European stocks closed lower on Tuesday as modest cuts in China’s loan prime rates failed to inspire investors.

The pan European STOXX 600 fell 0.6 percent. The German DAX dropped 0.6 percent, while France’s CAC 40 and the U.K.’s FTSE 100 both slipped around 0.3 percent.

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