European Shares Set To Open On Firm Note

(RTTNews) - European stocks look set to open higher on Monday, although the upside may remain capped ahead of a meeting of the U.S. Federal Reserve and Chinese factory activity data due this week.

Optimism over the U.S.-China trade talks also helped investors retain risk appetite.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Mnuchin told the New York Times on Sunday that trade negotiations between the U.S. and China are in "the final laps" as he and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer prepare to fly to Beijing this week to finalize a long-awaited deal.

President Donald Trump said last week that he would soon host Chinese leader Xi Jinping at the White House.

Elsewhere, Spain's governing Socialists won the country's third election in four years, but have fallen short of a majority.

Asian stocks are trading mixed in thin trade, with the Japanese markets closed for a ten-day holiday.

Gold held near one-week high as the U.S. dollar fell after the release of soft inflation data.

Oil prices fell to extend losses from Friday after U.S. President Donald Trump told producer club OPEC to lower oil prices.

Trump also said he had spoken with Saudi Arabia about reducing the impact of lower Iranian oil exports by increasing flows elsewhere.

The U.S. earnings season will continue to remain in focus, with Google parent Alphabet, General Electric, General Motors, McDonald's, Pfizer, Apple, Kraft Heinz and DowDuPont among the prominent companies due to report their quarterly results this week.

The Federal Reserve moves back into the spotlight, with the central bank due to announce its latest monetary policy decision on Wednesday.

No rate change is expected, but the accompanying statement and Fed Chairman Jerome Powell's subsequent press conference are likely to attract attention.

This week's U.S. economic calendar includes reports on jobs, personal income and spending, consumer confidence, pending home sales, manufacturing and service sector activity.

U.S. stocks rose on Friday as upbeat GDP data outweighed a mixed bag of corporate earnings. The U.S. economy grew an annual 3.2 percent in the first three months of the year — a much bigger increase than expected.

The Dow rose 0.3 percent, while the S&P 500 gained half a percent and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite added 0.3 percent to reach fresh record closing highs.

European stocks shook off a soft start to end mostly higher on Friday as investors cheered better-than-expected U.S. GDP data.

The pan European Stoxx 600 gained 0.2 percent. The German DAX rose 0.3 percent and France's CAC 40 index inched up 0.2 percent while the U.K.'s FTSE 100 slid 0.1 percent.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.