European markets set for slightly lower open, tracking global sentiment

  • U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell told CBS 60 Minutes in an interview that aired Sunday that it was "highly unlikely" that the central bank would look to raise rates "anything like this year."
  • The U.K. government is relaxing lockdown measures in England on Monday, with outdoor dining and hospitality venues, hairdressers, gyms, shops and outdoor attractions allowed to reopen.

LONDON — European markets are set for a slightly lower open on Monday as global stocks continue to search for direction after record highs in several regions last week.

Britain's FTSE 100 is seen around 14 points lower at 6,902, Germany's DAX is set to fall around 54 points to 15,200 and France's CAC 40 is expected to open around 4 points lower at 6,165, according to IG data.

European shares are receiving a weak handover from Asia-Pacific, where Indian stocks led losses on the back of a surge in Covid-19 cases in the country, while MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan declined more than 1%.

Stateside, futures contracts tied to the major U.S. indexes also pulled back in early premarket trade, pointed to more muted trading on Wall Street after the S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average notched record highs last week.

U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell told CBS 60 Minutes in an interview that aired Sunday that the U.S. economy is at an "inflection point," with growth and hiring expected to pick up sharply, but risks remaining that a hasty reopening results on a prolonged spike in cases. Powell said it was "highly unlikely" that the central bank would look to raise rates "anything like this year."

Back in Europe, the U.K. government is relaxing lockdown measures in England on Monday, with outdoor dining and hospitality venues, hairdressers, gyms, shops and outdoor attractions allowed to reopen.

In corporate news, Swiss newspaper SonntagsZeitung reported Sunday that Credit Suisse was questioned by Swiss regulator FINMA over its links Greensill Capital "months" before the lender was forced to close out $10 billion of funds tied to the now-insolvent supply chain finance firm.

On the data front, euro zone retail sales figures for February are due at 10 a.m. London time.

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