European Shares Set To Open On Cautious Note

European stocks look set to open a tad lower on Friday after strong gains in the previous session.

Investors will keep an eye on political developments in Italy after Interior Minister Matteo Salvini of the right-wing League party called for fresh general elections.

Brexit concerns also came back to the forefront as British Prime Minister Boris Johnson warned MPs not to oppose Brexit, and to respect the 2016 referendum result.

Asian markets edged up, although overall gains remained capped by fresh U.S.-China trade tensions after the Bloomberg reported that Washington is delaying a decision about licenses for U.S. firms to restart trade with Huawei Technologies.

This development came a day after Chinese companies halted purchases of U.S. agricultural products.

The offshore yuan held stable versus the dollar while safe-haven assets such as gold and the Japanese yen are on the rise on concerns that the intensifying U.S.-China trade war could put additional strain on an already fragile global economy.

Oil prices fell in Asian deals after rallying sharply on Thursday on speculation that oil producers may consider reducing output.

On the data front, China released data showing that food inflation soared in July as pork prices jumped as much as 27 percent from a year ago amid the spread of African swine fever.

Elsewhere, Japan’s economy expanded by more than forecast in the second quarter of 2019.

Closer home, quarterly national accounts from the U.K and foreign trade figures from Germany are due later in the day, headlining a busy day for the European economic news.

Overnight, U.S. stocks rose sharply as the yuan stabilized and data showed unexpected annual growth in Chinese exports.

The Dow Jones Industrial rallied 1.4 percent, the S&P 500 climbed 1.9 percent and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite soared 2.2 percent.

European markets also rose on Thursday, buoyed by a rebound in bond yields and upbeat Chinese exports data.

The pan European Stoxx 600 advanced 1.7 percent. The German DAX gained 1.7 percent, France’s CAC 40 index spiked 2.3 percent and the U.K.’s FTSE 100 added 1.2 percent.

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