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European Shares Set to Tick Higher, Oil Firm

Reuters
Friday, 29 Aug 2008 | 1:31 AM ET

European shares are set to open slightly higher on Friday, extending the previous session's sharp gains, after a big upward revision in U.S. second quarter growth, but oil prices rose on supply concerns.

Financial bookmakers expected Britain's FTSE 100 to open up 6 to 9 points, Germany's DAX to open 4 to 10 points higher and France's CAC-40 to be up 1 to 3 points.

Crude prices rose more than a $1 to near $117 a barrel as energy companies prepared for Tropical Storm Gustav, while the dollar retreated against a basket of currencies.

The UK's Daily Telegraph, meanwhile, reported Russia may restrict oil shipments in the coming days in response to the European Union's threat of sanctions over its military action in Georgia.

Investors will focus on results from the world's second-biggest retailer Carrefour, UK mortgage lender Bradford & Bingley and Belgium-French financial services group Dexia, while U.S. personal consumption expenditures data will provide a further gauge later in the day on the state of the world's largest economy.

Tech stocks may also be in the spotlight after Dell fell more than 10 percent in after-hours trade on Thursday after the computer maker reported a surprise 17 percent decline in quarterly profit.

The FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European companies ended up 1.5 percent on Thursday for a third day of gains.

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