LONDON – European stocks are expected to open flat lower on Wednesday, echoing an uncertain trend seen in other global markets overnight.
London’s FTSE is expected to open 24 points lower to 6,636, Germany’s DAX down 29 points to 13,859, France’s CAC 40 down 4 points to 5531 and Italy’s FTSE MIB 2 points less than 21,954, according to IG.
The lackluster sentiment seen in Europe reflects investor uncertainty amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic; Stocks in the Asia-Pacific region were mixed in Wednesday’s trading, while US equity futures linked to major US stock indexes were mixed during the overnight session as Wall Street looked at Microsoft’s earnings and was expecting similar updates from Apple, Facebook and Tesla expected on Wednesday.
There is some optimism about vaccine deployments, however, which has improved growth prospects. On Tuesday, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) raised its growth forecast for the global economy this year; the IMF now expects global economic growth of 5.5% in 2021, an increase of 0.3 percentage point from October forecast.
“Much now depends on the outcome of this race between a mutating virus and vaccines to end the pandemic, and the ability of politicians to provide effective support until that happens,” the economist said. IMF Chief Gita Gopinath in a blog post.
Global infections with the coronavirus virus have passed the 100 million mark, according to a count from Johns Hopkins University, as new, more contagious viral mutations circulate and increase infection rates.
The virtual meeting of the World Economic Forum continues on Wednesday, with Mayor of London Sadiq Khan among those speaking today. On Tuesday, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and German Chancellor Angela Merkel were among the speakers at the online summit.
On the data front, France is releasing consumer confidence data for January and German GfK consumer confidence data for February is expected. On the business front, SAP gives a strategy update.