European markets open mixed amid Brexit uncertainty

European markets are set to open slightly lower Friday morning, as investors monitored Brexit uncertainty and awaited a fresh batch of economic data.

The FTSE 100 is seen 7 points lower at 7,257, the CAC is expected to open down around 4 points at 5,586, while the DAX is poised to start 2 points lower at 12,124, according to IG.

European Markets: FTSE, GDAXI, FCHI, IBEX

Market focus is largely attuned to global trade developments, after the U.S. and China agreed to hold high-level talks in early October.

The news raised hopes that the world’s two largest economies could soon make substantial progress in de-escalating their protracted trade dispute.

Risk sentiment was also helped by upbeat U.S. economic data on Thursday. U.S. private payrolls increased at their fastest pace in four months in August, according to ADP. The numbers came amid speculation that the decade-long economic expansion is coming to an end.

The New York Federal Reserve puts the chance of a recession at 39% in the next 12 months, the highest level since the Great Recession that ended in mid-2009.

Back in Europe, market participants continue to monitor political uncertainty in Britain, with 55 days to go until the world’s fifth-largest economy is scheduled to leave the European Union.

On Thursday, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson was dealt a blow when his brother, Jo Johnson, announced he was quitting the cabinet, citing “unresolvable tension” between his family loyalty and the national interest.

Sterling hovered close to a six-week peak of $1.2353 Friday morning, amid hopes Britain could avoid departing the EU without a deal. The U.K. currency had fallen to a three-year low earlier in the week, after the new prime minister stoked fears of a so-called “no-deal” Brexit.

On the data front, monthly German industrial output figures will be released at around 7 a.m. London time.

A final reading of euro zone employment data and revised quarter-on-quarter GDP (gross domestic product figures will follow slightly later in the session.