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European stock markets are expected to open in a subdued fashion Wednesday, ahead of the release of an influential gauge of German business sentiment and a key meeting of Federal Reserve policy makers.
At 2:05 AM ET (0605 GMT), the DAX futures contract in Germany traded less than 0.1% lower, CAC 40 futures in France dropped less than 0.1% and the FTSE 100 futures contract in the U.K. rose less than 0.1%.
European markets received a positive handover from Wall Street overnight, with the Nasdaq Composite and S&P 500 closing at record highs, but trading in Asia was more low-key.
The main focus this week is the Federal Reserve’s annual economic symposium, held this year online instead of at Jackson Hole, due to the spread of Covid-19. Fed Chair Jerome Powell’s remarks on Friday will be carefully studied for any clues regarding the timing for the central bank’s tapering of asset purchases.
Asian shares held onto their recent gains on Wednesday after last week’s pummelling, as global equities rebounded, though the focus for most asset classes was the U.S. Federal Reserve’s annual symposium on Friday.
MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan spent most of the day near flat, but was last up 0.34%, and about 4% higher so far this week.
Australia’s market rose 0.22% and South Korea gained 0.16%, though Chinese blue chips fell 0.07%, and U.S. stock futures, the S&P 500 e-minis, were down 0.02%.
In early European trades, the pan-region Euro Stoxx 50 futures and FTSE futures were both up 0.04%
Japan’s Nikkei was also flat, but a Reuters poll of analysts and fund managers showed Japanese shares are expected to recover from their eight-month low marked on Friday to near a 30-year high by the end of this year.
Oil prices nudged lower on Wednesday, taking a breather after a strong rally this week spurred by the loss of a quarter of Mexico’s production and signs that China, the world’s biggest importer, has curbed a recent coronavirus outbreak.
Brent crude futures dropped 9 cents, or 0.1%, to $70.96 a barrel by 0639 GMT, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures fell 19 cents, or 0.3%, to $67.35.
Both benchmark contracts rose by about 8% over the previous two days, erasing most of the slump from a seven-day losing streak.
“A second consecutive day of price rally in the crude market had also spurred some profit-taking, while American Petroleum Institute data showing a less-than-expected decline in U.S. oil inventories last week added to the downward pressure,” Vandana Hari said in a note to clients.
Prices rallied following a more than 400,000 barrels per day drop in supply in Mexico after a fire on an oil platform, but the state oil firm said it expects to resume production by Aug. 30.
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