European Shares Seen Tad Lower As Weak US Data Stokes Recession Worries

European stocks may open flat to slightly lower on Wednesday after weak U.S. data provided further evidence of a cooling economy.

As recession worries mount, investors await U.S. reports on private sector employment, service sector activity and the trade deficit later in the day for additional clues on the economic and interest-rate outlook.

Traders also look ahead to the release of the Labour Department’s closely watched monthly jobs report on Friday.

Economists expect the report to show employment increased by 240,000 jobs in March after an increase of 311,000 jobs in February. The unemployment rate is expected to hold at 3.6 percent.

Investors will enjoy an extended Easter weekend, with the stock and bond markets both closed for Good Friday.

Closer home, purchasing managers index surveys for the Eurozone, France and Germany will be in focus as the day progresses.

Asian stocks traded mostly lower, with Chinese and Hong Kong markets closed for a public holiday. Japanese shares led regional losses as a stronger yen weighed on export-oriented stocks.

The dollar nursed losses to hold near two-month lows and Treasury yields dipped while gold hovered near record highs seen in 2020 after JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s chief Jamie Dimon warned the U.S. banking crisis will have effects for years to come and that the odds of recession have increased.

Oil extended gains for a fifth consecutive session on speculation that the latest targets to reduce supply set by OPEC and its allies could result in a significantly larger deficit in the market.

U.S. stocks declined overnight as oil prices continued to surge and data showed job openings fell dramatically to a two-year low in February, raising worries about the economic outlook.

A separate report showed new orders for U.S. manufactured goods fell for a second straight month in February.

The Dow and the S&P 500 both slipped around 0.6 percent to snap a four-day winning streak while the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite shed half a percent.

European stocks ended on a subdued note Tuesday as investors weighed the likely impact of rising oil prices on monetary policy and global growth.

The pan European STOXX 600 finished marginally lower. The German DAX inched up 0.1 percent while France’s CAC 40 index closed flat with a negative bias and the U.K.’s FTSE 100 dropped half a percent.

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