European stocks weighed on by coronavirus fears

Michelle K. Wallace

European stocks are expected to open lower Wednesday as concerns over a second wave of coronavirus infections, and the timing of a vaccine, weighs on investor sentiment.

London’s FTSE is seen 87 points lower at 5,916, Germany’s DAX is seen 196 points lower at 10,642, France’s CAC 40 is seen 72 points lower at 4,409 and Italy’s FTSE MIB is seen 238 points lower at 17,148, according to IG.

European markets are expected to follow the negative trend set in Asia, where stocks were mixed in afternoon trade and investors remained cautious over a recent resurgence in coronavirus cases in certain countries regionally as they start to reopen their economies.

More than 4.2 million people around the world have been infected by the virus now, while 287,158 people have died, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

In the U.S., Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said Tuesday a vaccine will be essential in stopping the coronavirus spread, but warned it will be a while before a usable one is available. He also cautioned that the U.S. could risk additional outbreaks if states start to reopen too quickly.

Several countries in Asia, including China and South Korea, have experienced an uptick in cases after restrictions were eased.

In Europe, investor focus will be on the preliminary reading of first quarter gross domestic product in the U.K. Euro zone industrial production figures for March are also due. OPEC also releases its monthly oil market report for May.

Earnings come from Maersk Group, Commerzbank, TUI Group and ABN AMRO.

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