European Shares May See Cautious Gains Amid Economic Uncertainty

European stocks may open on a positive note Friday as investors look for bargains among beaten-down stocks.

Underlying sentiment, however, will remain fragile amid geopolitical and inflation headwinds facing the economy.

Asian markets fell broadly despite the Bank of Japan keeping its ultra-low interest-rate policy intact and China’s cabinet pledging more policy steps.

Investors are bracing for aggressive rate hikes from the Reserve Bank of New Zealand and the Reserve Bank of Australia following the recent hawkish turn from central banks globally.

Traders also await remarks by Fed Chair Jerome Powell and the BOJ Governor Haruhiko Kuroda later in the day for further direction.

The yen retreated from a two-week high and oil prices fell slightly in Asian trade after rising sharply on Thursday, while gold was track for its biggest weekly drop in over a month, hit by dollar strength and rising U.S. Treasury yields.

U.S. stocks tumbled in a broad sell-off overnight as disappointing housing, regional manufacturing activity and labor market data fanned worries of a recession.

The Dow plunged 2.4 percent, the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite plummeted 4.1 percent and the S&P 500 shed 3.3 percent to reach their lowest closing levels in well over a year.

European stocks hit their lowest levels in 16 months on Thursday amid recession worries as Switzerland and the U.K. joined a global rush to raise interest rates.

The pan European Stoxx 600 fell 2.5 percent. The German DAX tumbled 3.3 percent, France’s CAC 40 index gave up 2.4 percent and the U.K.’s FTSE 100 declined 3.1 percent.

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