Economic reopening, stimulus hopes in focus

Michelle K. Wallace

European markets are set to open higher on Friday as investors pin their hopes on economic reopening efforts and a host of key first-quarter data. Britain’s FTSE 100 is seen around 49 points higher at 5,791, Germany’s DAX is expected to gain around 110 points to 10,447 and France’s CAC […]

European markets are set to open higher on Friday as investors pin their hopes on economic reopening efforts and a host of key first-quarter data.

Britain’s FTSE 100 is seen around 49 points higher at 5,791, Germany’s DAX is expected to gain around 110 points to 10,447 and France’s CAC 40 is set to climb by around 35 points to 4,308, according to IG data.

The transmission rate for the coronavirus remained below the key threshold of 1 in Germany following initial easing of lockdown measures, the Robert Koch Institute for Disease Control said Thursday.

France has argued that all nations should have equal access to any potential coronavirus vaccine developed by pharmaceutical giant Sanofi, after the CEO indicated that the U.S. would likely be prioritized.

Asian markets were little changed Friday after China’s industrial output rose 3.9% year on year in April, according to data released by the country’s National Bureau of Statistics, its first expansion of the year so far.

Stateside, stock futures were little changed early on Friday after a strong previous session, but Wall Street is still on course for its worst week since March. New jobless claims for the week ending May 9 totaled nearly 3 million, according to data from the Labor Department, taking the total during the coronavirus crisis to 36 million.

On the data front, euro zone GDP (gross domestic product) growth estimates for the first quarter are expected at 10 a.m. London time, along with trade balance and employment numbers.

These will follow Germany’s GDP readings at 9 a.m. and could signal the extent of the damage caused during the early weeks of nationwide shutdowns.

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