European Shares Seen Flat To Higher At Open

European stocks may open flat to slightly higher on Monday as weak U.S. data soothed tapering worries.

Asian markets traded mixed, with Japan’s Nikkei rallying nearly 2 percent sparked by the planned exit of Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga.

Chinese and Hong Kong shares also moved higher as investors awaited cues from China’s trade and inflation data due out later in the week.

Investors are expecting Suga’s successor to “push for speedier and more active spending” of stimulus money.

Friday’s weak U.S. data pushed the dollar index to its lowest level since August 4, while gold held steady near 2-1/2-month highs.

Oil fell more than 1 percent to extend losses after the world’s top exporter Saudi Arabia slashed crude prices for Asia over the weekend.

In economic releases, Destatis is slated to issue Germany’s factory orders data for July later in the day. Orders are forecast to fall 1 percent month-on-month, reversing June’s 4.1 percent increase.

Eurozone Sentix investor confidence survey data is also due. The sentiment index is seen at 19.7 in September, down from 22.2 percent in August.

The European Central Bank will hand down its policy decision on Thursday against the backdrop of rising inflation and improving economic prospects.

U.S. President Joe Biden is expected to make a decision about Fed Chairman Jerome Powell’s future within the week.

U.S. stocks ended mixed on Friday as disappointing jobs and services sector data sparked questions about the economic recovery from the pandemic.

U.S. non-farm payroll employment rose by 235,000 jobs in August after soaring by an upwardly revised 1.053 million jobs in July, official data showed. Economists had expected employment to jump by about 750,000 jobs.

Despite the much weaker than expected job growth, the unemployment rate fell to 5.2 percent in August from 5.4 percent in July, matching economist estimates.

Another report showed U.S. service sector growth slowed from a record pace in August. The Dow dipped 0.2 percent and the S&P 500 edged down marginally, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite edged up 0.2 percent to reach a new record closing high.

European stocks closed lower on Friday as investors reacted to key economic indicators out of China, the euro zone and the United States. The pan European Stoxx 600 declined 0.6 percent. France’s CAC 40 index tumbled 1.1 percent, while the German DAX and the U.K.’s FTSE 100 both slipped around 0.4 percent. 

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