European Shares Set To Open Lower Ahead Of US Midterm Elections

European stocks look set to open a tad lower on Monday as traders look ahead to the U.S. midterm elections on Tuesday and the Federal Reserve’s latest monetary policy decision due to be announced on Thursday for directional cues.

Tuesday’s midterm elections would give Democrats a chance to more effectively oppose Republican President Donald Trump’s agenda.

The Federal Reserve is widely expected to leave interest rates unchanged on Thursday, although the accompanying statement may provide clues about the anticipated rate hike next month.

Asian stocks remain broadly lower on trade concerns after White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow downplayed the potential for a quick trade deal between the U.S. and China.

Chinese President Xi Jinping repeated his rhetoric against protectionist trade practices advocated by U.S. President Donald Trump in a speech in which he also pledged to further lower import tariffs.

Meanwhile, China’s private sector expanded at the weakest pace in more than two years in October with both services and manufacturing noting weaker performances, survey results from IHS Markit showed today.

The Caixin composite output index fell to a 28-month low of 50.5 in October from 52.1 in September.

The dollar lost ground against most of its major peers and the British pound strengthened on the buzz that U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May has secured concessions from Brussels on Brexit that’ll avoid the need for a hard border in Ireland.

Gold held steady on dollar weakness. Oil prices dipped after the U.S. granted sanction waivers to key purchasers of Iranian oil.

U.S. stocks closed lower on Friday to snap a three-day rally as Apple issued a disappointing forecast, the White House dampened optimism over U.S.-China trade talks and a strong jobs report bolstered the case for a Fed rate hike in December.

The Dow dropped 0.4 percent, the S&P 500 shed 0.6 percent and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite lost 1 percent.

European markets ended Friday’s session on a mixed note. The pan-European Stoxx Europe 600 index gained 0.3 percent.

The German DAX rose 0.4 percent and France’s CAC 40 index inched up 0.3 percent while the U.K.’s FTSE eased 0.3 percent.

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