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European Shares Seen Opening Flat To Higher

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(RTTNews) – European stocks look set to open higher on Friday, taking a lead from a strong Wall Street session overnight.

The upside, however, could be limited amid signs the global recovery may be losing momentum.

As G20 leaders meet virtually this week, the International Monetary Fund has warned that the economic path ahead remains difficult and prone to setbacks.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Treasury Department has asked the Federal Reserve to return unspent money allocated under the CARES Act to Congress, prompting criticism from the central bank and adding to market anxiety about broader economic growth.

The Fed responded to the decision in a rare public statement, saying it would prefer that the full suite of emergency facilities established during the coronavirus pandemic continue to serve their important role as a backstop for the still-strained and vulnerable economy.

People familiar with the decision say that either Mnuchin or a new Treasury secretary from the Biden administration may decide to renew emergency loan programs.

As the U.S. sees the fastest spread yet of the coronavirus, U.S. President-elect Joe Biden assailed the Trump administration’s lack of cooperation on the presidential transition, saying it hindered his team’s ability to get up-to-date information on the pandemic.

Asian markets are trading mixed in cautious trade and the dollar halted its slide while oil prices remain little changed.

Public sector finances and retail sales data from the U.K. are due later in the session, headlining a light day for the European economic news.

Overnight, U.S. stocks ended in positive territory as news that Congress will resume talks for a new Covid-19 relief bill helped outweigh concerns over rising virus cases and mixed economic readings.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average edged up 0.2 percent and the S&P 500 rose 0.4 percent while the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite gained 0.9 percent reflecting expectations that new Covid-19 lockdowns will benefit technology companies.

European markets fell on Thursday on worries about rising coronavirus cases and the economic impact of regional shutdowns.

The pan European Stoxx 600 gave up 0.8 percent. The German DAX dropped 0.9 percent, France’s CAC 40 index shed 0.7 percent and the U.K.’s FTSE 100 declined 0.8 percent.