European Shares Seen Lower Amid Political Uncertainty

European stocks may open a tad lower on Monday as geopolitical worries persisted and investors pondered the economic outlook for China following S&P’s downgrade of the country’s sovereign rating last week.

Investors also await speeches from top central bankers this week, with ECB President Mario Draghi addressing EU lawmakers in Brussels later today while Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen is set to give a speech on Tuesday in Cleveland, Ohio.

Later in the week, Bank of England Governor Mark Carney speaks alongside Fed Vice Chairman Stanley Fischer.

Brexit Secretary David Davis will lead the UK team of negotiators into their fourth round of talks with chief EU negotiator Michel Barnier in Brussels later today after Prime Minister Theresa May’s highly-anticipated Brexit speech offered few details about how Britain might retain preferential access to Europe’s single market.

Meanwhile, German Chancellor Angela Merkel won a fourth term in office on Sunday, but her victory was clouded by the entry into parliament of the far-right, anti-Muslim, anti-European Union party — the Alternative for Germany.

Elsewhere, the New Zealand election saw Prime Minister Bill English’s National Party win the most votes, but it could take weeks for the country to form a new government.

Asian stocks are trading mostly lower following a week of heated rhetoric between the leaders of the U.S. and North Korea.

The dollar stood tall against the yen on speculation that Japan’s prime minister will compile a new economic stimulus package of around 2 trillion yen alongside his expected call for a snap election.

Gold prices firmed up while oil extended Friday’s gains after oil producers said their commitment to cut production and clear a global cut is working. The pound edged up after slipping late last week.

The day’s economic calendar remains light, with Germany’s Ifo business confidence survey results due later in the session. Economists expect the business sentiment index to remain unchanged at 115.9 in September.

U.S. stocks ended narrowly mixed on Friday as fresh tensions between the U.S. and North Korea sent bond yields lower and Sen. John McCain said he wouldn’t support the latest Republican effort to roll back the Affordable Care Act.

European markets also ended Friday’s session mixed as geopolitical worries overshadowed upbeat business-activity data from the euro zone.

The pan-European Stoxx Europe 600 index closed 0.1 percent higher, France’s CAC 40 index rose 0.3 percent and the…

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