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European shares up as German banks talk M&A; pound down as 3rd Brexit vote eyed

➤ Wall Street set for mixed open as global equities rise.

➤ Deutsche Bank, Commerzbank confirm merger talks.

➤ U.K.'s May could table Brexit deal for third vote in Parliament.

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U.S. stock futures pointed to a mixed open on Wall Street this morning, shrugging off gains in Europe amid talks of merging Germany's two biggest banks, while the dollar was weaker against major peers as investors await a monetary policy decision from the Federal Reserve later this week.

Futures for the S&P 500 index ticked down 0.04% at 6:30 a.m. ET, while those for the Nasdaq 100 edged up 0.02%. Shares in Fidelity National Information Services Inc. and Worldpay Inc. will be in focus today after the two financial technology firms agreed to merge in a cash-and-stock deal that values Worldpay at about $43 billion.

M&A also took center stage in the European equity markets, with Deutsche Bank AG and Commerzbank AG leading the gains in the Stoxx Europe 600 index after the German lenders confirmed that they are discussing a possible merger. The index gained 0.07%, while Germany's DAX lost 0.19% and the U.K.'s FTSE 100 rose 0.58%.

Asian shares closed on a strong note, with the Shanghai SE Composite index climbing 2.47% and Hong Kong's Hang Seng rising 1.37%. Trade remains in focus as an April meeting between U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping appears "less likely" to happen, with negotiators reportedly pushing back such a summit to June.

Meanwhile, U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May could this week attempt to get her Brexit deal through parliament for a third time before a European Council meeting Thursday, where she will formally ask the EU for a delay to the U.K.'s departure from the bloc. However, U.K. Chancellor Philip Hammond said a third vote would only be held if there is enough support for it to pass.

Sterling slipped 0.41% against the dollar, while the euro rose 0.22% against the greenback. The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the currency's performance against a basket of peers, edged down 0.11% to 96.44. Investors will be closely watching the Fed's two-day policy meeting starting tomorrow for clues on the central bank's future rate plans.

Yields on 10-year Treasurys stood at 2.58%, while those on German Bunds with the same maturity were flat at 0.085%. Yields on 10-year Italian government bonds fell nearly 7 basis points to just under 2.44% after Moody's decided not to change its Baa3 rating on Italy.

In commodities, gold rose 0.16% to $1,305.00 per ounce, while Brent crude oil fell 0.43% to $66.87 per barrel on the ICE Futures Exchange. Saudi Arabia's Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih said yesterday that OPEC and its allies should maintain oil production cuts until the end of June.

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Credit quality improves at US credit unions, community banks in Q4'18

US utility sector adds $4.58B to YTD debt raises in February

The day ahead:

8:30 a.m. ET — Canada foreign securities purchases

9:15 a.m. ET — ECB's Luis de Guindos speaks

10 a.m. ET — U.S. housing market index (Econoday consensus: 63)

11:10 a.m. ET — ECB's Peter Praet speaks