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Euro Shares Seen Down as Recession Fears Grow

European shares were set for a weaker start on Wednesday, tracking a sell-off in the United States as a warning from U.S. phone company AT&T of soft consumer spending struck a new blow to investors' confidence, triggering a new round of recession fears.

Asian markets were mixed as bargain-hunters snapped up defensive stocks such as pharmaceuticals, steelmakers and telecoms.

"One of the reasons for the bargain-hunting in Asia is the perception that the state of affairs in the United States is so bad that an interest rate cut (in the United States) is imminent," Tom Hougaard, chief market strategist at City Index Markets, said in a note.

Financial bookmakers, or spread betters, in London expected Britain's FTSE 100 index to open between 66 and 67 points lower, the German DAX down 66 to 78 points and the French CAC 40 down 62 to 65 points.