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European Stocks Futures Higher; Fed Meeting Set to Conclude By


© Reuters.

By Peter Nurse – European stock markets are expected to open higher Wednesday, helped by an easing of tensions surrounding embattled Chinese property group Evergrande , ahead of a key Federal Reserve meeting.

At 2:05 AM ET (0605 GMT), the contract in Germany traded 0.6% higher, in France climbed 0.4% and the contract in the U.K. rose 0.6%.

Asian stocks have been battered of late, dragging their European equivalents lower, on concerns that China Evergrande Group (HK:), the country’s second largest property developer, will default on a debt pile that accounts for over 10% of all Asian high-yield debt.

After private talks with bondholders, China Evergrande Group’s main unit, Hengda Real Estate Group announced that it would pay a bond-interest payment Thursday.

This news doesn’t end the speculation of default, with Evergrande having an $83.5 million interest payment due on Thursday and a second $47.5 million interest payment due next week, but it boosted the market’s confidence of avoiding widespread market disorder.

The day’s main highlight will be the conclusion of the latest Federal Reserve , with investors looking to see whether the U.S. central bank clears the way for reductions to its monthly asset purchases later this year.

Back in Europe, the economic data highlight will be the flash release for the Eurozone in September, which is expected to show a small fall.

UBS and HSBC are the most prominent corporate news outlets. Morningstar data shows that these financial institutions, as well as BlackRock (NYSE :), have been among the top buyers Evergrande-related debt. 

Crude oil prices rose Wednesday after industry data showed a dramatic drop in U.S. crude oil stocks in the aftermath of two hurricanes that hit the U.S. Gulf of Mexico.

The reported stockpiles fell just over 6 million barrels last week, a much bigger decline than the 2.4 million barrel drop  expected. 

That would be a seventh straight weekly decrease if data from the later Wednesday confirms it, and indicative of lingering supply disruptions. 

By 2:05 AM ET, U.S. crude futures traded 1.5% higher at $71.53 a barrel, while the contract rose 1.3% to $75.35. 

Additionally, rose 0.1% to $1,779.55/oz, while edged lower to 1.1721.


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