European stock markets retreat on coronavirus concerns

Logo of the London Stock Exchange

LONDON: European stock markets retreated on Friday (Jul 3), with concerned investors locking in gains made recently on solid US jobs data.

In London, the FTSE 100 index had lost 1.3 per cent when trading ended for the day, Frankfurt had slipped by 0.6 per cent and Paris was off by 0.8 per cent.

The euro was slightly higher versus the dollar, and unchanged against the British pound.

Key oil prices retreated by less than half a per cent, meanwhile.

Analysts said that concern over a potential resurgence of COVID-19 cases had weighed on European markets, which did not receive support from New York later in the day because US markets were closed ahead of the Jul 4 holiday.

“Without the prop of US markets keeping them up, European indices have taken a tumble, shedding ground as the week draws to a close,” said market analyst Chris Beauchamp at IG, an online trading group.

“A rise in virus deaths in a number of US states proves that, sadly, Covid-19 does not take holidays, and should remind everyone that this crisis is far from over.”

Playing catch-up with Thursday’s US employment figures, Hong Kong had added one per cent earlier in the day, while Tokyo gained 0.7 per cent and Shanghai jumped two per cent with traders choosing to look beyond China-Hong Kong tensions.

But “now that the dust has settled in regards to the 4.8 million jobs that were added in the US last month, dealers might reflect on the fact that the continuing claims reading actually ticked up,” noted David Madden, analyst at CMC Markets UK.

While the US employment data gave a boost, new jobless claims remained elevated last week at 1.43 million.

Wall Street ended a shortened-trading week on Thursday with another record-high for the tech-rich Nasdaq, with hopes for the economic recovery offsetting sharp increases in US coronavirus cases and as several states tightened restrictions ahead of the Jul 4 celebrations.

Key figures around 1600 GMT:

London – FTSE 100: DOWN 1.3 per cent at 6,157.30 points (close)
Frankfurt – DAX 30: DOWN 0.6 per cent at 12,528.18 (close)
Paris – CAC 40: DOWN 0.8 per cent at 5,007.14 (close)
EURO STOXX 50: DOWN 1.0 per cent at 3,287.29

Tokyo – Nikkei 225: UP 0.7 per cent at 22,306.48 (close)
Hong Kong – Hang Seng: UP 1.0 per cent at 25,373.12 (close)
Shanghai – Composite: UP 2.0 per cent at 3,152.81 (close)

New York – Dow: UP 0.4 per cent at 25,827.36 (closed on Friday)

West Texas Intermediate: DOWN 0.4 per cent at US$40.25 per barrel
Brent North Sea crude: DOWN 0.4 per cent at US$42.79 per barrel

Euro/dollar: UP at US$1.1242 from US$1.1239 at 2100 GMT
Dollar/yen: UP at 107.52 yen from 107.48 yen
Pound/dollar: UP at US$1.2469 from US$1.2466
Euro/pound: FLAT at 90.16 pence

Z24 News

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