European markets opened higher on Tuesday despite continued concerns over the deployment of COVID-19 vaccines on the continent and the rapid spread of cases.
The FTSE 100 (^ FTSE) and DAX (^ GDAXI) were both up 0.5% soon after opening, while the CAC 40 (^ FCHI) was 0.2% higher.
The modest increase came despite renewed concerns about the speed of the COVID-19 vaccine deployment in Europe. Several European countries – including Germany, France, Spain and Italy – have decided to suspend the deployment of the AstraZeneca vaccine in recent days following reports of blood clotting.
The German Paul-Ehrlich Institute said it had found “a striking accumulation of a special form of very rare cerebral venous thrombosis (sinus vein thrombosis) in connection with blood platelet deficiency (thrombocytopenia) and bleeding in temporal proximity vaccinations with the COVID 19 AstraZeneca vaccine. “
Jim Reid, senior strategist at Deutsche Bank, said: “Reports suggest these are 7 severe cases in 1.6 million doses over 6 weeks. problem in the general population. “
Reid and his team said the decision to withhold the vaccine seemed “very prudent.”
The European Medicines Agency (EMA) is currently evaluating data on the AstraZeneca vaccine and any link to blood clotting. A verdict is expected Thursday.
AstraZeneca (AZN.L) shares rose 1.5% in London.
Meanwhile, COVID-19 cases are on the rise again in parts of Europe. Germany’s Robert Koch Institute said on Tuesday the country was “on the side of the third wave” with “exponential growth” in cases, Reuters reported.
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Key events in the current economic calendar are the ZEW Eurozone and Germany Economic Sentiment Survey – scheduled for 10 a.m. UK time – and US retail sales. The market expects a slight monthly decline of 0.5% in US retail sales in February.
French inflation data, released earlier this morning, showed prices rose 0.8% in February. The figure was slightly ahead of expectations.
Wall Street looked set for a relatively quiet opening later in the day in New York City. S&P 500 (ES = F) futures were flat, Dow Jones (YM = F) futures were down 0.1%, and Nasdaq (NQ = F) futures were up 0, 4%.
Asian markets posted solid gains overnight. The Japanese Nikkei (^ N225) rose half a percent, the Hong Kong Hang Seng (^ HSI) gained 0.6% and the Shanghai Composite (000001.SS). South Korea’s KOSPI (^ KS11) rose 0.7% and Australia’s ASX 200 (^ AXJO) by 0.8%.
Watch: Germany, France, Italy and Spain stop use of AstraZeneca vaccine