European markets seen lower, Qatar deadline eyed

Big 5

European markets are set to open lower Wednesday as Independence Day celebrations in the U.S. kept trading activity muted across the world and geopolitical tensions continue to heat up.

The FTSE 100 is seen opening 19 percent lower at 7,350; the German DAX is expected down by 23 points at 12,436; and the French CAC is due to open 9 points lower at 5,182.

The European Commission gave the green light to Italy’s 5.4 billion euro ($6.1 billion) bailout of Monte dei Paschi di Siena Tuesday. The agreement takes the total amount of Italian taxpayer funds deployed to rescue banks over the past few weeks to more than 20 billion euros.

Meanwhile, French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe outlined a series of reform measures in his opening speech to Parliament. These included a pledge to keep businesses on French soil with a gradual cut to corporation tax.

On the agenda Wednesday, investors will be looking to the Middle East, and Qatar in particular. Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Bahrain will meet on Wednesday to decide whether to continue sanctions they imposed on Qatar on accusations it was aiding terrorism and courting regional rival Iran. Ahead of the decision, Moody’s downgraded its rating outlook for Qatar to “negative”.

U.S. markets will reopen Wednesday after a day of inactivity for the July 4 celebrations. This comes after Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said that a long-range missile launched by North Korea Tuesday indicated a “new escalation of the threat” of President Kim Jong-un’s regime and called for global action. Source: CNBC

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