Coronavirus cases temper recovery hopes

European markets are set to open lower Wednesday morning as surging coronavirus cases in parts of the world continue to cast doubt over the prospect of a global economic recovery.

Britain’s FTSE 100 is seen around 47 points lower at 6,143, Germany’s DAX is expected to fall by around 86 to 12,531 and France’s CAC is set to decline by around 40 to 5,004, according to IG data.

The U.S. is nearing 3 million cases and Florida faces an impending shortage of intensive care unit beds, as a majority of states continue to see spikes in new Covid-19 infections.

Meanwhile, the White House has begun the process of formally withdrawing from the World Health Organization as worldwide cases pass 11.8 million. A WHO official said Tuesday that it shouldn’t “be a surprise” if coronavirus deaths start to rise again.

The WHO on Tuesday also acknowledged that evidence was emerging of the airborne spread of the coronavirus, after more than 200 scientists urged the body to update its guidance.

International Monetary Fund (IMF) Chief Economist Gita Gopinath warned on Tuesday that many countries may need to restructure their debt in the aftermath of the pandemic as borrowing surges.

In Europe, U.K. Finance Minister Rishi Sunak will lay out the government’s latest recovery plans on Wednesday. This will include a £2 billion ($2.5 billion) “kickstart scheme” aimed at creating more jobs for young people and a temporary stamp duty holiday to stimulate the property market.

In corporate news, Deutsche Bank has been hit with a $150 million fine by the New York financial regulator over its relationship with notorious sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.

German logistics group Deutsche Post has reported a 16% rise in second-quarter operating profit, exceeding analyst expectations, and vowed to grant bonuses to 500,000 workers for their efforts during the crisis.

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