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European markets set to nudge higher with earnings, economic data on the agenda


LONDON — European markets are set for a cautiously higher open on Friday as investors digest a fresh swathe of corporate earnings and await key economic data out of the euro zone.

Britain’s FTSE 100 is seen around 16 points higher at 7,361, Germany’s DAX is set to add around 69 points to 13,351 and France’s CAC 40 is expected to gain around 32 points to 6,371.

Shares in Asia-Pacific were mixed overnight, with Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index dropping more than 2% as tech shares took a hit. Mainland Chinese shares also pulled back after Chinese leaders on Thursday signaled Beijing is unlikely to try to boost the economy, and downplayed the country’s gross domestic product target of “around 5.5%.”

U.S. stock futures rose in early premarket trade on Friday as strong quarterly reports from major tech companies, including Amazon and Apple, supported risk sentiment among investors.

The positive sentiment stateside comes despite a surprise 0.9% decline in U.S. GDP in the second quarter, confirmed by the Bureau of Economic Analysis on Thursday and deepening fears of a possible recession.

Investor focus in Europe on Friday will turn to second-quarter initial GDP figures and July harmonized inflation readings out of the euro zone, due at 10 a.m. London time.

Corporate earnings continue to drive individual share price movement in Europe. Standard Chartered, Santander, Renault, Air France-KLM, BNP Paribas, AstraZeneca, Engie and Swiss Re were among the major players reporting before the bell on Friday.

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