European markets will be in focus today, ahead of some major economic reports from the region’s countries.
Context: European stocks closed sharply lower on Wednesday due to investor concern around a second wave of COVID-19 infections after economies start loosening lockdown restrictions.
Details: The pan-European Stoxx 600 index tumbled 1.94% yesterday, with all sectors closing in negative territory. Travel and leisure stocks were the worst performers, declining 4.8%.
Several countries in Asia, including China and South Korea, have witnessed a rise in coronavirus cases following the easing of lockdown restrictions.
In the UK, recent reports showed that the country’s economy contracted 2% in the first quarter. Although the figures came in better than projected, it was the worst reading for the country since the financial crisis.
The German DAX 30 closed lower by 2.56% on Wednesday, while French CAC 40 declined by 2.85%.
Shares of ABN Amro Bank NV shed more than 9% yesterday, after the bank reported a loss due to €1.11 billion in impairment charges. TUI AG’s stock slipped 2% after the German group posted wider losses and announced plans to cut up to 8,000 jobs. Commerzbank’s shares declined by 7% after the German lender swung to a loss of €295 million in the first quarter due to a rise in loan loss provisions.
What to watch: Investors will continue to focus on daily coronavirus figures, with the total number of cases exceeding 4,347,010 globally. The UK now has the highest number of COVID-19 cases in Europe, confirming more than 230,980 cases and 33,260 deaths. The numbers of positive cases in Spain have exceeded 228,690 with 27,100 fatalities.
Investors await a basket of economic reports from European nations, including French unemployment rate, Spanish inflation rate, Italian balance of trade and German wholesale prices and inflation rate.
The unemployment rate in France is expected to rise to 8.4% in the first quarter, from 8.1% in the fourth quarter. The annual inflation rate in Germany is likely to fall to 0.8% in April, while consumer prices in Spain are expected to decline 0.7% in April.
Other Markets: US indices closed lower on Wednesday, with the Dow, S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 down by 2.17%, 1.75% and 1.55%, respectively.