European stocks are set to open slightly higher Wednesday morning, amid rising hopes the world’s two largest economies could soon secure a trade deal to end a protracted dispute.
The FTSE 100 is seen little changed from the previous session at 7,178, the CAC is expected to open up around 10 points at 5,170, while the DAX is poised to start 11 points higher at 11,320, according to IG.
Market focus is largely attuned to global trade developments, after officials from the U.S. and China launched a new round of negotiations on Tuesday.
A follow-up session of higher-level talks is expected later in the week, as both sides look to resolve the long-running trade war before a March 1 deadline.
Last week, President Donald Trump suggested he might extend the deadline for a deal, which would stop an immediate increase in tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports to 25 percent from 10 percent.
MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares, excluding Japan, advanced almost 1 percent — hitting its highest level since early October.
Back in Europe, investors are likely to monitor another batch of earnings reports. Glencore, Lloyds Banking Group and Fresenius are all expected to publish their latest quarterly results on Wednesday.
On the data front, the euro area is scheduled to publish a flash reading of consumer confidence for February at around 3:00 p.m. London time.
Meanwhile, U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May visits Brussels, Belgium to meet European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker. The meeting comes as May continues with her bid to renegotiate her Brexit deal with the bloc, with less than 38 days to go before the country leaves the European Union.