European stocks head for cautious open to end positive first half of the year

Italian and wider euro zone inflation prints.
Global markets are also looking ahead to potentially significant U.S. labor market data later in the week.
European stocks are set for a muted open on Wednesday, with global markets looking to close out a positive first half of the year.

Britain’s FTSE 100 is seen around 7 points higher at 7,095, Germany’s DAX is expected to climb around 12 points to 15,703 and France’s CAC 40 is set too gain around 8 points to 6,575, according to IG data.

European investors will be monitoring a host of economic data on Wednesday, including U.K. first-quarter GDP growth figures and a raft of French, Italian and wider euro zone inflation prints.

a host of economic data on Wednesday, including U.K. first-quarter GDP growth figures and a raft of French, Italian and wider euro zone inflation prints.


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Global markets are also looking ahead to potentially significant U.S. labor market data later in the week, hoping to gauge whether the U.S. Federal Reserve will be forced to consider tightening monetary policy sooner than planned. The Labor Department’s key jobs report is due Friday.

Shares in Asia-Pacific were modestly higher on Wednesday despite a slowdown in China’s official manufacturing Purchasing Manager’s Index (PMI), while U.S. stock futures made fractional gains in early premarket trade.

In corporate news, the European Commission on Tuesday announced that it had begun an in-depth study of British Airways parent IAG’s planned takeover of Spain’s Air Europa.

Meanwhile Ray-Ban manufacturer EssilorLuxottica is pushing ahead with its planned acquisition of Dutch

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