The DAX futures contract in Germany traded 0.1% lower, CAC 40 futures in France fell 0.4% and the FTSE 100 futures contract in the U.K. declined 0.5%
Stock markets in Europe are seen opening lower Wednesday, continuing the global weakness, as doubts about the speed of recovery from the pandemic weigh on sentiment.
The DAX futures contract in Germany traded 0.1% lower, CAC 40 futures in France fell 0.4% and the FTSE 100 futures contract in the U.K. declined 0.5%.
The recent increases in Covid-19 cases and deaths represent “truly worrying trends,” said World Health Organization chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus on Tuesday.
The United Nations agency had pointed out earlier this week that most regions of the globe are seeing a rise in new Covid-19 cases as highly contagious variants continue to spread.
In Europe, the Netherlands announced late Tuesday that a nationwide curfew and other curbs aimed at containing the coronavirus will be extended by three weeks until late April – joining the likes of Germany, France and Italy which have already tightened restrictive measures.
On Wall Street overnight, the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 0.9%, the S&P 500 shed 0.8% and the Nasdaq Composite fell 1.1%.
The picture didn’t look any better in Asia earlier Wednesday. Japan’s Nikkei tumbled 2%, South Korea’s KOSPI skidded 0.3%, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng fell 2%.
Adding to the concerns, confidence in the safety of AstraZeneca’s vaccine took another hit Tuesday after a U.S. health agency said its trial may have included outdated information.
On a brighter note, the expansion of Japan’s factory activity gathered pace in March, with the country’s flash PMI rising to a seasonally adjusted 52.0 in March from a final 51.4 in February.
The equivalent data from Germany and France are due later Wednesday, and will offer more clues about the state of the region’s manufacturing and services industries.
Inflation data from the U.K. had earlier undershot, with February’s CPI release rising by just 0.4% on the year, versus the expected 0.8%, and by 0.1% on the month, versus 0.5% expected.
In the corporate sector, earnings come from E.ON and Bellway, while Commerzbank releases its annual report.