European markets head for lower open as US-China tensions rise over coronavirus

European stocks are expected to open lower Monday on rising U.S.-China tensions around the source of the coronavirus outbreak.

London’s FTSE is seen opening 30 points lower at 5,725, Germany’s DAX is seen 116 points lower at 10,490, France’s CAC 40 is seen 61 points lower at 4,384 and Italy’s FTSE MIB is seen 195 points lower at 16,921, according to IG.

European stocks look set to follow the negative trend set by their Asian counterparts Monday where markets traded lower in reaction to rising tensions between Washington and Beijing.

U.S. President Donald Trump said Sunday that he believed that a “mistake” in China was the cause of the spreading coronavirus pandemic, though he did not present any evidence for the claim. Speaking during a Fox News town hall, Trump said, “I think they made a horrible mistake and didn’t want to admit it.”

The nation’s top spy agency said Thursday that it had determined that the virus was not man made, but was still investigating whether it was caused by “an accident at a laboratory in Wuhan.” China has rejected claims that the virus escaped a research center in Wuhan.

In the meantime, the number of coronavirus infections continues to rise with the number of global cases now topping 3.5 million. The virus has caused over 247,000 deaths worldwide. While cases and fatalities continue to decline in Europe and the U.S. now, Latin America and Africa are seeing a growing number of cases, Reuters noted Monday. CNBC’s live blog has the latest coronavirus developments.

Data releases Monday include German industrial production for March and final manufacturing purchasing manager’s index (PMI) data for the euro zone for April. Spanish car registrations for April will also be released.

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