European stock markets are expected to open marginally lower Monday, searching for direction as a positive earnings season winds down and concerns about rising Covid-19 cases climb.
At 2 AM ET (0700 GMT), the DAX futures contract in Germany traded 0.1% lower, CAC 40 futures in France dropped 0.2% and the FTSE 100 futures contract in the U.K. fell 0.2%.
The major equity indices in Europe have approached record levels in recent weeks, guided higher by healthy corporate earnings reports and by signs from the European Central Bank that it will keep its monetary policy accommodative for some time to come.
That said, worries over the coronavirus are rearing their head again, with Austria announcing on Sunday that it is placing millions of people not fully vaccinated against the coronavirus in lockdown as of Monday.
The Netherlands also announced a partial lockdown last week, while the German federal government and leaders of the country’s 16 states are due to meet next week to discuss tightening measures.
Helping the tone Monday was the news that China’s industrial output and retail sale grew more quickly than expected in October, despite fresh curbs to control Covid-19 outbreaks in the world’s second-largest economy and key regional growth driver.
Back in Europe, Sonova (SIX:SOON), the world’s biggest maker of hearing aids, on Monday reported strong first-half core profit, citing a solid market recovery after the coronavirus pandemic.
The FTSE MIB climbed up by 0.04% to 27,743.20. In the cash markets, the DAX Germany was trading up by 0.01% to 16,096.65. CAC 40 in France rose by 0.16% to 7,102.37 while the FTSE 100 in the U.K. was up by 0.12% to 7,356.35. ,at the time of writing.