BRUSSELS/FRANKFURT/PARIS (dpa-AFX) - European stocks may open lower on Wednesday following declines in U.S. counterparts overnight as investors await progress on talks to prevent a U.S. government shutdown this weekend.
Congress needs to pass a spending bill by the end of Friday to avoid a government shutdown. A point of contention between Republicans and Democrats is an immigration bill which Democrats want to pass. Those talks have complicated efforts to keep the government open.
A special SPD convention is scheduled in Bonn on Sunday, when the delegates should approve for formal talks.
Asian stock markets are trading mixed after Wall Street reversed triple-digit point gain to finish lower overnight. The dollar reversed a dip and Treasuries steadied while oil gained ground after easing slightly from three-year highs on Tuesday.
Prices of bitcoin and other digital currencies tumbled on fears of escalating crackdowns after South Korea's top financial policymaker said that banning trading in digital currencies was 'a live option.'
The day's economic calendar remains light, with final consumer price data from the euro area and new car registrations figures for December due late in the day.
Across the Atlantic, trading today may be impacted by reports on industrial production and homebuilder confidence as well as quarterly earnings from the likes of Bank of America (BAC), Charles Schwab (SCHW) and Goldman Sachs (GS).
Additionally, the Federal Reserve is scheduled to release its Beige Book, which may shed additional light on the outlook for interest rates.
Overnight, U.S. stocks pulled back from record highs to end in the red as investors pondered the possibility of a government shutdown.
Better than expected quarterly results from Dow components Citigroup (C) and UnitedHealth (UNH) helped limit overall losses to some extent.
The Dow finished marginally lower while the tech-heavy Nasdaq dropped half a percent and the S&P 500 shed 0.4 percent.
European markets ended Tuesday's session on a mixed note as a downturn in commodities and uncertainty over the shape of the government in Germany offset investor optimism over a slide in the euro and signs of slowing inflation in the U.K.
The pan-European Stoxx Europe 600 index rose 0.1 percent. The German DAX rose 0.4 percent and France's CAC 40 index inched up 0.1 percent while the U.K.'s FTSE 100 index slipped 0.2 percent.
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