European stocks are seen opening lower on Friday as investors fret over new pandemic restrictions in China and a rise in Covid-19 cases in Southeast Asia.
The upcoming Lunar New Year is expected to be quiet amid new curbs as a result of fresh Covid-19 outbreaks in the capital and across northern China.
The government is building isolation hospitals with thousands of beds in Hebei province, which abuts the capital.
Deaths from Covid-19 hit a new record for the second time this week in Indonesia on Thursday, while case numbers are increasing in Malaysia, Thailand and the Philippines.
Asian stocks are moving lower amid the resurgence of coronavirus cases in China and the dollar headed for its worst week of the year, while oil prices dropped after an unexpected build-up in U.S. crude stockpiles.
Retail sales, public sector finances and flash Purchasing Managers’ survey results from the U.K. are due later in the session, headlining a busy day for the European economic news.
Across the Atlantic, reaction to the latest earnings news may drive trading. Intel late Thursday handily beat Wall Street’s targets for the fourth quarter and guided higher for the current period, while IBM Corp missed Wall Street estimates for quarterly revenue.
U.S. stocks ended on a lackluster note overnight, though the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite climbed to a record close, bolstered by a jump in shares of megacap stocks.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 ended narrowly mixed as jobless claims and housing data showed the world’s largest economy is slowly getting some traction.
European markets fell slightly on Thursday as the European Central Bank warned about the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the economy and reaffirmed a pledge to keep borrowing costs at record lows.
The pan European Stoxx 600 ended flat with a positive bias. The German DAX slipped 0.1 percent, France’s CAC 40 index shed 0.7 percent and the U.K.’s FTSE 100 dropped 0.4 percent.
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