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European Shares Set To Drift Lower On US-China Trade Uncertainty


European stocks may drift lower on Wednesday after U.S. President Donald Trump's speech at the Economic Club of New York failed to provide any information on the trade deal with China.


Asian markets fell and Wall Street futures moved lower on growing worries that U.S.-China talks are stalling. Safe-haven assets such as gold and the yen rose while oil prices dipped on worries about the impact on oil demand from the fallout of the 16-month U.S.-China trade war.


The British pound held steady as a brief boost from the Brexit Party's decision not to contest Conservative-held seats at December's election faded.


Markets now brace for the Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell's congressional testimony, where he is expected to comment on monetary policy and the state of the economy.


Consumer prices from the U.K. and industrial production data from euro area are due later in the day, headlining a light day for the European economic news.


Across the Atlantic, a report on consumer price inflation may attract some attention along with Powell's testimony.


U.S. stocks ended off their day's highs overnight after President Trump delivered a political speech and again attacked Federal Reserve monetary policy before claiming that the Chinese are "dying to make a deal".


The president said a significant phase one trade deal with China "could happen soon" but stressed that he would only accept an agreement that is good for U.S. companies and workers.


He didn't offer clarity on a rollback of import tariffs and threatened further increases in tariffs if a deal is not reached.


The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended on a flat note, while the S&P 500 edged up 0.2 percent and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite rose 0.3 percent to reach record closing high.


European markets climbed back to a four-year high on Tuesday, with positive German investor sentiment data and a slew of upbeat earnings reports helping underpin investor sentiment.


Markets also reacted positively to ECB board member Yves Merch's call for more supportive fiscal policy.


The pan European Stoxx 600 gained 0.4 percent. The German DAX climbed 0.7 percent, France's CAC 40 index rose 0.4 percent and the U.K.'s FTSE 100 gained half a percent.