European stocks are likely to open mixed Tuesday, while U.S. equity futures suggest another modest pullback for Wall Street as investors continue to seek clarity on Republican tax reform plans and brace for a series of central bank speakers this week amid questions over the pace and scope of Federal Reserve rate hikes.
Britain's FTSE 100 may edge into positive territory at the start of trading, according to financial bookmakers IG, as investors keep tabs on a softer pound sterling and developments in domestic U.K. politics as the so-called Brexit reform bill works its way through Parliament. The pound was marked 0.11% lower at 1.3105 at the start of European trading and ahead of October inflation data from the Office for National Statistics later in the session.
Wall Street futures are also trading in the red after last night's single-digit gains, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average expected to open around 20 lower at the bell and the broader S&P 500 looking at a 3.5 point, or 0.14%, decline at the start of trading. House Republicans say they should have enough votes to pass their version of the reform bill this week, while U.S. President Donald Trump is expected to address GOP lawmakers on the issue Thursday.
Several of the world's most important central bankers are due to speak this week, highlighted by the European Central Bank Communications Conference in Frankfurt, which will host a panel discussion that includes Fed Chairwoman Janet Yellen, ECB President Mario Draghi, Bank of England Governor Mark Carney and Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda.
The dollar index, which benchmarks the greenback against a basket of six global currencies, was little changed at 94.48 ahead of the meeting, although U.S. Treasury bond yields crept higher again during Monday's trading session in New York at held at the 2.4% mark for much of the Asia session.
Stocks in the region were pressured as a result, but not overly so, with the region-wide MSCI Asia ex-Japan slipping around 0.08% from its 10-year peak and the Nikkei 225 in Japan rising as much as 0.7% at one stage before giving back gains to end the session little-changed from its Monday close.
Data from China, the world's second-largest economy, was also linked to the equity torpor, with major readings on retail sales and industrial output showing firm advances but still missing analysts' forecasts. Retail sales last month jumped 10% from the same period last year, according to the National Bureau of Statistics, while industrial output expanded 6.2%, a figure that lagged both the Street consensus of 6.3% and the final September tally of 6.6%.
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