European markets will be in focus today, after the region’s stocks finished last week on a higher note.
Context: European stocks closed higher on Friday, with investor sentiment being lifted by news of trade talks between the US and China. Markets also shrugged off the record surge in US job losses, with the figure coming in lower than expected.
Details: According to China’s Xinhua News Agency, US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer invited Chinese Vice Premier Liu He to discuss the phase one trade deal between Washington and Beijing and both countries agreed to strengthen their trade ties.
This news came as a relief to investors, who had been worried that the US-China standoff would cause further damage to the global economy.
Meanwhile, the US Labor Department reported a spike in the unemployment rate to 14.7% in April, from 4.4% in the previous month. Back in Europe, Germany reported a higher-than-expected 12% decline in exports in March.
Shares of Siemens gained 5% on Friday after the company announced results for its first quarter. Shares of ING Groep NV gained around 4%, despite the Dutch bank reporting a 36% decline in pre-tax profits. However, the bank said it had set aside additional provisions to deal with the coronavirus pandemic.
The pan Stoxx Europe 600 index gained 0.91% on Friday, while the FTSE 100 remained closed due to the VE Day holiday. The German DAX 30 closed higher by 1.35% and the French CAC 40 rose 1.07%.
What to watch: Investors will be keeping an eye on daily coronavirus numbers, with the total cases exceeding 4,101,690 globally. Spain has confirmed more than 224,350 COVID-19 cases with 26,620 deaths. The UK has overtaken Italy in terms of number of cases, which stands at more than 220,440, followed by Italy’s 219,070.
The economic calendar is very light for Europe today, with only Italy set to report its latest numbers on industrial production. The country’s industrial production, which fell 1.2% in February, is expected to plunge 20% in March.
Other Markets: US indices closed higher on Friday, with the Dow, S&P 500 and NASDAQ 100 up by 1.91%, 1.69% and 1.58%, respectively.