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European stocks expected to open lower amid Brexit talks


Talks remain at an impasse over several issues, including fishing rights and competition rules

European stocks are expected to open lower on Thursday as markets track the parlous state of Brexit trade deal talks between the U.K. and EU this week.

London’s FTSE is seen opening 10 points lower at 6,563, Germany’s DAX 30 points lower at 13,326, France’s CAC 40 6 points lower at 5,547 and Italy’s FTSE MIB 21 points lower at 21,939, according to IG.

Earnings come from TUI Group on Thursday as the U.K. releases its latest monthly gross domestic product estimate for October.

U.K. and European lawmakers vowed to decide on a potential post-Brexit trade agreement by the weekend, following an in-person meeting between British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen on Wednesday evening.

Talks remain at an impasse over several key issues, including fishing rights and competition rules. Downing Street said “very large gaps” remain, while Von der Leyen described the two sides as “far apart.”

EU leaders are gathering in Brussels Thursday for a two-day EU Council meeting.

Markets will also be keeping an eye on the European Central Bank which will publish its latest monetary policy decision and macroeconomic projections on Thursday. The central bank is expected to expand its massive stimulus program as the continent deals with a second wave of the coronavirus pandemic.

Asia-Pacific markets mostly declined Thursday as investors kept an eye on Brexit trade talks as well as ongoing negotiations in the U.S. for a coronavirus relief package.

U.S. stock index futures were slightly higher in overnight trading on Wednesday as investors continued to assess progress on additional stimulus measures, as well as developments on the Covid-19 vaccine front.

During regular trading hours on Wednesday, U.S. stocks rose to record highs. But the gains were ultimately short-lived and the major averages wound up closing in the red; stocks fell after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told Politico that Republicans and Democrats were “still looking for a way forward” on additional fiscal aid.

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