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European stocks little changed as Jackson Hole takes center stage

FXStreet (Córdoba) - European stocks we little changed in early trade Friday as investors turn cautious ahead of a speech by Federal reserve Chair Janet Yellen.

The Stoxx Europe 600 slid 0.12% to 337.10. As for country-specific indexes the UK’s FTSE 100 flat. Germany’s DAX 30 dropped 0.13% while the France’s CAC 40 shed 0.40%. Spain’s Ibex 35 added 0.05% while Italy’s FTSE MIB fell 0.24%.

The Europe Stoxx 600 was still heading for weekly gains. The index has gained 2.3% this week as tensions in Ukraine eased and investors price in more ECB steps to support Eurozone sluggish recovery.

The calendar is empty for the day, so all eyes are on Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen and European Central Bank President Mario Draghi speaks today at the Jackson Hole symposium of central bankers. Investors will be looking for any signals about the timing of US first rate hike.

In the currencies market, the US dollar is pulling back from multi-month highs versus major competitors ahead of Yellen speech. The EUR/USD is back knocking 1.3300 doors, while USD/JPY fell short of 104.00.

As for commodities, gold rose 0.45% to $1,281 an ounce while crude oil slipped 0.43% to $93.56 a barrel.

Cable grinded to a halt on approach to 1.66

GBP/USD is hovering in 1.6590 zone, obviously, the bulls are not ready to attack 1.66 handle before Yellen’s speech
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USD/JPY at sixes and sevens just under 104.00 handle

USD/JPY retreated from the Asian high of 103.95 and touched the current low of 103.67 before settling down around 103.73 level, about 10 pips lower on the day.
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