European Shares Stare At Cautious Start

European Shares Stare At Cautious Start

August 23, 2021

European stocks look set to open flat to slightly lower on Tuesday as investors fret about rising Delta variant coronavirus cases, increasing tensions relating to Afghanistan and signs of an economic slowdown in China.

The global coronavirus caseload has topped 207 million, while the deaths have surged to more than 4.37 million.

As data begins to reflect the full impact of the recent COVID-19 outbreak and lockdowns in China, investors expect weaker demand for global commodities.

Asian markets were mostly lower after the U.S., Securities and Exchange Commission Chair Gary Gensler issued his most direct warning yet about the risks of investing in Chinese companies.

The dollar rose and Treasuries held gains as investors looked ahead to U.S. reports on retail sales, industrial production and homebuilder confidence along with remarks by Fed Chair Jerome Powell for clues to economic recovery and the interest-rate outlook.

Closer home, unemployment data from the U.K. is due later in the session, headlining a light day for the European economic news.

Gold inched lower after having hit its highest since August 6 at $1,788.97 on Monday. Oil recovered some ground in Asian trade after three days of losses.

U.S. stocks ended mixed overnight as disappointing Chinese data and new figures showing significantly slower growth in New York manufacturing activity spurred concerns over global growth. Geopolitical concerns following the collapse of the Afghanistan government added to the woes.

The Dow and the S&P 500 both rose about 0.3 percent to reach new record closing highs, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite index slid 0.2 percent.

European stocks ended their longest winning stretch in 14 years on Monday following a surprise slowdown in China’s economic indicators.

The pan-European Stoxx Europe 600 eased half a percent to snap a 10-session winning streak. The German DAX dropped 0.3 percent, France’s CAC 40 index shed 0.8 percent and the U.K.’s FTSE 100 gave up 0.9 percent.

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