European Shares Set To Open On Cautious Note

European stocks are seen opening lower on Thursday as many uncertainties lie ahead for the speedy rollout of Covid-19 vaccines.

Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine has proven to be “92 percent efficacious” among a group of volunteers who are part of Phase 3 trials to test the vaccine, the Russian Health Ministry said in a statement.

However, experts warned that the results were only based on a small number of trial volunteers who had contracted Covid-19.

The U.S. set a new mark with more than 136,000 new coronavirus infections on Wednesday, according to Johns Hopkins University data.

New York will impose a handful of restrictions on bars, restaurants and gyms to tackle several “hotspot” outbreaks, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said on Wednesday.

France reported 35,879 new coronavirus cases on Wednesday, taking the total to 1.86 million and making it the worst affected country in the European region.

Asian stocks are moving lower as the leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations kicked off their annual summit and a report showed Japan’s core machinery orders fell for the first time in three months in September and at a faster-than-expected pace.

The dollar index held steady near a one-week high. Gold extended losses after falling over 1 percent in the previous session amid rising expectations for an effective Covid-19 vaccine.

Oil held near a more than two-month high after industry data showed U.S. crude inventories fell more than expected last week.

Quarterly national accounts and foreign trade reports are due from the U.K. later in the session, headlining a busy day for the European economic news.

Across the Atlantic, traders are likely to keep an eye on reports on weekly jobless claims and consumer price inflation.

Trading may also be impacted by remarks by Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell, who is due to speak on a policy panel at the European Central Bank Forum on Central Banking virtual event.

Overnight, U.S. stocks continued their post-election rally despite daily virus cases and hospitalizations hitting records.

The Dow Jones Industrial slipped 0.1 percent, while the S&P 500 rose 0.8 percent and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite surged as much as 2 percent.

European markets extended gains for a third day running on Wednesday after ECB President Christine Lagarde said the central bank will focus on more emergency bond purchases and cheap loans for banks when it puts together its new stimulus package next month.

The pan European Stoxx 600 climbed 1.1 percent. The German DAX edged up 0.4 percent, France’s CAC 40 index gained half a percent and the U.K.’s FTSE 100 advanced 1.4 percent.

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