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European stock markets mixed amid global rise in Covid cases

European stock markets

The pan-European Stoxx 600 hovered around the flatline in early trade

The mixed sentiment in Asia-Pacific markets overnight spilled over to Europe, with stocks muted on Monday morning as investors monitored rising Covid-19 cases across the world.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 hovered around the flatline in early trade, with travel and leisure stocks declining 1.4% while chemicals gained 0.4%.

The muted start to the week for Europe echoes similar sentiment elsewhere as stocks in Asia-Pacific were mixed in Monday trade after official data showed that China’s industrial profits for May slowed.

Data released Sunday by China’s National Bureau of Statistics showed profits at China’s industrial firms increased 36.4% in May as compared with a year earlier. That was a down from the 57% year-on-year (YOY) growth posted in April.

Meanwhile, futures contracts tied to the major U.S. stock indexes increased modestly early Monday morning after the S&P 500’s best week since February, as well as a new record, on Friday.

Futures tied to the S&P 500 hovered above the flatline and those linked to the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) increased 14 points. Nasdaq 100 futures were also slightly higher.

Stocks posted their best week in months on Friday as investors’ worries over inflation calmed, seeing the current price acceleration in the U.S. not as a sustained economic threat, but as a temporary uptick.

The World Health Organization (WHO) on Friday urged fully vaccinated people to continue to wear masks as the delta variant of Covid-19 spreads rapidly throughout the globe, leading many countries to re-impose tighter restrictions.

In the U.K. Monday, new Health Secretary Sajid Javid will update lawmakers on when the U.K. can expect to ease Covid-19 measures further. Covid restrictions are currently due to end on July 19, the date already having been extended due to the spread of the delta variant.

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