European shares are expected to open slightly lower on Thursday as optimism about the imminence of a U.S.-China trade deal fades.
The FTSE is set to open six points lower at 7,390, the German DAX is expected to open 11 points lower at 13,168, and the French CAC index is seen two points lower at 5,866, according to IG.
Sources told Reuters on Wednesday that the signing of the long-awaited “phase one” deal could be delayed until December. Investors had been hoping that the preliminary deal, which could lift some pressure from the global economy, may be signed as early as this month.
According to reports, the location of a meeting where U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese leader Xi Jinping would sign the deal has added an obstacle to proceedings. Reuters said Wednesday that London was now being floated as a possible venue.
Asian shares traded in mixed territory Thursday on the back of the reports. MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares, excluding Japan, dipped 0.3%, with many of the region’s indexes hovering around the flatline.
Back in Europe, the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) is set to make a decision on interest rates on Thursday. The central bank is widely expected to keep rates steady ahead of the U.K.’s general election in December, having held rates at its last MPC meeting in September, bucking the rate-cutting trend seen among central banks globally.
Market focus will also be attuned to corporate earnings.
Siemens on Thursday reported fourth-quarter revenue of 24.5 billion euros, an 8 percent year-on-year increase, while German lender Commerzbank announced a 35 percent increase in net profit for the third quarter.
Italy’s UniCredit backed its full-year guidance, reporting a net profit of 1.1 billion euros for the third quarter, and Lufthansa backed its full-year outlook after the airline’s third-quarter profit rose 4 percent to 1.15 billion euros.
Skanska, Tate & Lyle, and ProSiebenSat are also among the firms due to report on Thursday.