European Shares Seen Up Ahead Of Central Bank Meetings

European stocks are seen opening higher on Monday as investors brace for reduced stimulus and interest rate hikes.

About 20 central banks are due to hold monetary policy meetings this week, including the Fed, the European Central Bank and the Bank of England.

The Federal Reserve’s two-day review wraps up on Wednesday, with investors waiting to see whether the U.S. central bank will speed up its tapering of bond purchases.

The ECB is due to decide on the future of its bond-buying program at a meeting on Thursday, while the Bank of England is set to opt for caution over Covid rather than worries about inflation.

Asian markets traded higher as Omicron worries faded and focus shifted to recent policy manoeuvres in China.

The Omicron coronavirus variant is more transmissible than the Delta strain and reduces vaccine efficacy but causes less severe symptoms, the World Health Organization said Sunday, citing early data.

U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Sunday warned of a looming “tidal wave” of Omicron, and called the spread of the mutation “an emergency”.

At the end of their three-day annual Central Economic Work Conference, China’s top leaders pledged proactive fiscal policy to ensure economic stability in 2022.

The dollar held steady while oil prices rose over 1 percent on optimism that the new coronavirus’s impact will be limited on global fuel demand. Bitcoin held below the $50,000 mark.

Amid a light day on the economic front, OPEC’s monthly report and Omicron news updates may sway sentiment as the day progresses.

U.S. stocks rose on Friday after data showed U.S. consumer inflation rose 6.8 percent annually in November, reflecting the biggest jump since June of 1982 amid supply chain snarls and shortages. Traders seemed relieved somewhat that the price growth was not even faster.

A separate report showed consumer sentiment in the U.S. unexpectedly improved in early December.

The Dow rose 0.6 percent, the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite added 0.7 percent and the S&P 500 advanced 1 percent to close at a fresh peak.

European stocks gave up early gains to settle lower on Friday as investors digested the latest economic readings from the region and the U.S.

The pan European Stoxx 600 declined 0.3 percent. The German DAX slipped 0.1 percent, France’s CAC 40 index eased 0.2 percent and the U.K.’s FTSE 100 dropped 0.4 percent.

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