European Shares Seen Up In Pre-holiday Trade

European stocks are seen opening on a positive note Friday after U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the United States and China would sign their 'Phase One' trade pact in early January and that the deal would not be subject to renegotiation.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Senate has passed a $1.4-trillion spending package that will fund the government through the end of the fiscal year and prevent a possible government shutdown this weekend.

The House of Representatives overwhelmingly backed a new trade agreement with Mexico and Canada in a 385-41 vote, giving President Trump a big bipartisan victory and sending the NAFTA replacement to the Senate for consideration early in 2020.

Asian markets remain muted in pre-holiday trade and gold inched lower on increased risk appetite while the dollar held steady against a basket of currencies.

Oil prices held steady near three-month highs ahead of a revised reading on third-quarter U.S. GDP scheduled to be released later today along with reports on personal income and spending and consumer sentiment.

Closer home, revised quarterly national accounts and public sector finance from the U.K. are due later in the session, headlining a busy day for the European economic news.

Germany's GfK consumer confidence survey results are due. The forward-looking consumer sentiment index is seen at 9.8 in January versus 9.7 in December.

Survey results from the market research group GfK showed earlier today that U.K. consumer confidence improved in December on rising optimism about economic activity.

The consumer sentiment index rose three points to -11 in December as four measures increased, and one measure decreased from the previous month.

U.S. stocks climbed to new record highs overnight, oil topped $61 a barrel and Treasuries edged higher after China said it would exempt 16 categories of U.S. products from tariffs.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 rose around half a percent while the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite advanced 0.7 percent.

European markets ended mixed on Thursday as investors digested interest rate decisions from the central banks and looked past the historic impeachment of U.S. President Donald Trump.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 finished 0.2 percent higher. The German DAX slipped 0.1 percent, while France's CAC 40 index inched up 0.2 percent and the U.K.'s FTSE 100 rose 0.4 percent.

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