Britain's blue-chip shares jumped on Wednesday after a sharp fall in sterling overnight when British lawmakers voted down a proposal in parliament.
Most European shares are expected to fall with futures in Germany's DAX .GDAXI FDXc1 and France's CAC .FCHI FCEc1 falling about 0.2 percent.
Chinese blue chips .CSI300 dipped 0.4 percent as the country's state planner warned of increasing risks to the economy in the second half of the year.
The improved trade outlook was also boosted by news that Washington was pressing the European Union to accelerate tariff talks.
Spreadbetters pointed to a subdued start for European shares with FTSE futures off 0.2 percent. E-Minis for the S&P500 were a shade softer too.
Spreadbetters pointed to a dour mood elsewhere, with London’s FTSE futures FFIc1 off 0.7 percent and E-Minis for the S&P 500 down 0.3 percent.
European markets looked set to open higher after U.S. President Donald Trump and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker had agreed to work to lower industrial tariffs on both sides.
Washington proposed the extra tariffs after efforts to negotiate a solution to the dispute failed to reach an agreement, senior administration officials said on Tuesday.
European shares are expected to follow suit, with spread-betters expecting a fall of 0.2 percent in Germany’s DAX and 0.1 percent in Britain’s FTSE and France’s CAC.
MSCI ACWI, the benchmark compiler’s broadest gauge of world stocks covering 47 markets, fell 0.17 percent to its lowest level since early April.
Investors and traders are worried that threats of higher U.S. tariffs and retaliatory measures by others could derail a rare period of synchronized global growth.
Saudi stock exchange will work with stakeholders to ensure the substantial inflows of capital it is expecting in the coming months will not adversely affect the market.
Japan's Nikkei .N225 added 0.6 percent while futures for the S&P 500 ESc1 rose 0.3 percent as investors waited for new developments on global trade.
U.S. and European equity markets looked set to follow Asia into the red. S&P 500 futures ESc1 were off 1 percent and Dow Jones futures 1YMcv1 were 1.1 percent lower.
MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan .MIAPJ0000PUS rose 0.7 percent. Japan's Nikkei .N225 rose 0.4 percent.
MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan gained 1.0 percent to a high last seen on May 17, while Japan’s Nikkei rose 1.3 percent.
MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan tumbled 1.4 percent, while Japan’s Nikkei average sold off 1.5 percent to a six-week low.
The British currency extended gains to rise half a percent on the day at $1.3419 compared to $1.3385 earlier as retail sales volumes rose 1.6 percent from March.
European shares looked set to open flat to marginally higher on Wednesday and U.S. S&P futures ESc1 were little changed.
Crude oil prices held near 3-1/2-year highs on supply concerns, while the dollar edged higher, underpinned by a rise in U.S. bond yields.