European stocks look set to open on a cautious note on Thursday, with U.S.-China trade tensions likely to be in focus after U.S. President Donald Trump declared a national emergency over threats against American technology.
The move is seen as appearing to target Chinese tech giant Huawei, which some U.S. lawmakers have deemed a security threat.
Asian stocks are trading mixed despite U.S. President Donald Trump delaying tariffs on auto imports and U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin saying he will likely travel to Beijing soon to continue negotiations with Chinese counterparts.
The dollar index struggled for direction and gold consolidated in a tight range below the key $1,300 level, while oil rose for a third straight session amid mounting tensions in the Middle East.
On the data front, foreign trade data from euro area is due later in the session, headlining a light day for the European economic news.
Economists expect the trade surplus to fall to a seasonally adjusted EUR 19 billion from EUR 19.5 billion in February.
Across the Atlantic, trading may be influenced by reaction to reports on weekly jobless claims, housing starts and Philadelphia-area manufacturing activity.
U.S. stocks rose overnight as reports suggesting that President Trump plans to delay imposing steep tariffs on auto imports helped outweigh a mixed batch of economic data.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose half a percent, the S&P 500 gained 0.6 percent and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite added 1.1 percent.
European markets also advanced on Wednesday after U.S. President Donald Trump decided to delay imposing tariffs on car imports from EU by up to six months in order to allow negotiations to continue.
The pan European Stoxx 600 inched up half a percent. The German DAX climbed 0.9 percent, France’s CAC 40 index gained 0.6 percent and the U.K.’s