U.S. stimulus hopes, rising coronavirus cases in focus

European stocks are heading for a mixed open on Tuesday as signs of progress on fresh U.S. government stimulus efforts weigh off against concerns about a burgeoning coronavirus resurgence worldwide.

Britain’s FTSE 100 is seen around 25 points higher at 6,130, Germany’s DAX is expected to climb by around 63 points to 12,902 and France’s CAC 40 is set to inch 3 points lower to 4,937, according to IG data.

European markets look set to mirror the trend set in Asia overnight, where South Korea’s Kospi led gains while Japanese and Australian stocks lagged. 

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Monday unveiled a new $1 trillion coronavirus relief plan, clearing the path for talks with Democrats in a bid to pass the bill as unemployment benefits expire. The proposal focuses on returning schools and businesses to full functioning and would see unemployment benefits slashed from $600 per week to $200 per week.

Investors will also have an eye on the upcoming meeting of the U.S. Federal Reserve on Wednesday, with Fed Chairman Jerome Powell expected to reiterate the central bank’s dovish monetary policy stance.

Gold has continued to rally to record highs, peaking at around $1,975 per ounce in the early hours of Tuesday and putting the $2,000 milestone firmly in its sights.

Concerns about another spike in coronavirus cases are likely capping sentiment, however, with new travel restrictions being imposed by various countries in Asia and Europe as surges have been reported in a number of countries which had seemingly contained the virus. More than 16.4 million cases have now been confirmed worldwide, with more than 654,000 deaths.

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