Europe markets react to coronavirus lockdown lifting

Michelle K. Wallace

European stocks are expected to open in positive territory on Monday as lockdown lifting continues throughout the continent.

London’s FTSE is seen opening 16 points higher at 5,982, Germany’s DAX is seen 97 points higher at 11,006,  France’s CAC 40 is seen 29 points higher at 4,572 and Italy’s FTSE MIB is expected to open 148 points higher at 17,419, according to IG.

European investors continue to watch developments in the region with countries continuing to gradually lift lockdown restrictions. On Sunday, the U.K.’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced tentative steps to re-open the economy and public life. 

From Monday, citizens who cannot work from home are being “actively encouraged” to go back to work, but avoid using public transport if possible. People will also be allowed to take unlimited amounts of exercise from Wednesday. Children could go back to school from June 1, he also said, but the lifting of restrictions will largely depend on the data and the decline in coronavirus infections.

Meanwhile in France, stores and hair salons are opening Monday and people no longer need permits to travel. Schools for younger children and nurseries are also reopening.

In Asia, stocks traded higher on Monday morning as hopes rose on economies reopening though there is caution after the U.S. recorded 20.5 million job losses in April on Friday.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Mnuchin warned that the jobless numbers could “get worse before they get better.” He said Sunday that the unemployment rate stateside may have already reached 25% as the administration seeks to reopen the country’s economy.

Back to Europe Monday, Italy releases industrial output figures for March and on the corporate front, chemical and consumer goods company Henkel reports earnings Monday.

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