European Shares Seen Opening On Cautious Note

European stocks look set to open mixed on Monday as investors anxiously await the upcoming trade talks between the U.S. and China.

The talks will resume on Thursday and Friday, when Chinese Vice-Premier Liu He meets U.S. Trade Representative, Robert Lighthizer, and Treasury Secretary, Steven Mnuchin, in Washington.

The Bloomberg reported, citing people familiar with the discussions that Chinese officials are reluctant to agree to a broad trade deal pursued by U.S. President Donald Trump.

Specifically, Premier Liu He is said to be ruling out commitments to reform Chinese government subsidies or industrial reform.

Middle East tensions and large demonstrations continuing in Hong Kong in response to the new mask ban also remain on investors’ radar.

Iran said it will not succumb to America’s pressure and will use every possible way to export its oil.

Elsewhere in Europe, the centre-left Socialist Party won the most votes in Portugal’s general election on Sunday, but fell short of an outright majority.

The Daily Telegraph reported that British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is prepared to launch a legal action in his attempts to ensure Britain can leave the European Union this month with no deal.

Asian markets traded mostly higher amid holidays in Shanghai and Hong Kong. Gold edged higher and the U.S. dollar traded mixed while oil prices fell to extend last week’s heavy losses.

China’s foreign exchange reserves declined in September, figures from the People’s Bank of China showed over the weekend.

Forex reserves totaled $3.092 trillion at the end of September compared to $3.107 trillion in August. The expected level was $3.105 trillion.

Factory orders data from Germany and investor confidence figures from euro area are due later in the session, headlining a light day for the European economic news.

Economists expect German factory orders to drop 0.4 percent sequentially in August, following a 2.7 percent decrease in July. The euro zone confidence indicator is seen at -13 in October versus -11.1 in September.

On Wall Street, the major three averages surged around 1.4 percent on Friday as moderate jobs growth in September offered some relief for markets following a string of weak economic reports earlier in the week.

The closely watched jobs report showed weaker than expected job growth in September, reinforcing expectations about further interest rate cuts.

The unemployment rate unexpectedly dropped to a nearly 50-year low, offsetting concerns about a potential recession.

Investors also cheered Fed Chairman Jerome Powell’s comments that the U.S. economy is “in a good place,” and that it is the central bank’s job to “keep it there as long as possible.”

European stocks ended broadly higher on Friday after the release of U.S. jobs data. The pan European Stoxx 600 advanced 0.7 percent.

The German DAX rose 0.7 percent, France’s CAC 40 index added 0.9 percent and the U.K.’s FTSE 100 climbed 1.1 percent.

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