European Shares Set For Mixed Open

European stocks are seen opening on a mixed note Thursday as the overall global Covid-19 caseload topped 138 million and the deaths surged to more than 2.97 million, propelling governments around the world to announce new restrictions on mobility.

A U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention panel on Wednesday postponed making a recommendation about the continued use of the Johnson & Johnson’s Covid-19 vaccine, saying that panel members want more information about the people who may be most at risk for blood clots.

Asian stocks are trading mixed, with Chinese and Hong Kong markets leading declines as regulators seek to contain debt and property market risks.

Days after a record fine against Alibaba, nearly three dozen of China’s largest technology companies have pledged to adhere to the country’s antimonopoly laws.

The dollar held near a three-week low against a basket of currencies, tracking falls in U.S. bond yields after Fed Chair Jerome Powell indicated an extension of the dovish policy.

Gold edged higher on dollar weakness while oil prices fell slightly after climbing nearly 5 percent overnight on signs on increasing crude demand.

Final consumer price data from Germany and France are due later in the session, headlining a light day for the European economic news.

Across the Atlantic, sentiment may be influenced by reaction to reports on weekly jobless claims, retail sales and industrial production and the latest batch of quarterly earnings.

Bank of America (BAC), Citigroup (C), Delta Air Lines (DAL) PepsiCo (PEP) and UnitedHealth (UNH) are among the companies due to report their quarterly results before the start of trading.

U.S. stocks ended mixed overnight as a drop in cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase Global Inc. offset mostly positive earnings from the likes of Goldman Sachs, Wells Fargo and JPMorgan Chase on the first day of the earnings season.

Meanwhile, Fed Chair Powell said the central bank would likely taper asset purchases well before raising interest rates. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite fell 1 percent and the S&P 500 shed 0.4 percent while the Dow edged up 0.2 percent.

European stocks ended Wednesday’s session in positive territory after data showed U.S. inflation was not rising as fast as had been feared.

Investors also reacted to corporate earnings, the latest batch of economic data from euro area and the U.S., and updates on the vaccine front.

The pan European Stoxx 600 edged up 0.2 percent. France’s CAC 40 index rose 0.4 percent and the U.K.’s FTSE 100 climbed 0.7 percent while the German DAX dipped 0.2 percent.

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