European Shares Seen Lower On Virus Worries

European stocks are seen opening lower on Thursday as concerns about a new wave of virus infections tempered investor optimism about a quick economic recovery and prospects of fresh stimulus.

Asian stocks fell as spiking coronavirus cases in China and some U.S. states raised concerns over business recovery. The dollar gained ground while gold and oil prices slipped as Florida, Arizona and Texas set records for new Covid-19 cases.

Monetary policy meetings of the Bank of England and Swiss National Bank are due later in the session, headlining a busy day for European economic news.

Economists widely expect the monetary policy committee of the BoE to expand its quantitative easing by at least GBP 100 billion from the current size of GBP 645 billion. The interest rate is expected to remain at a record low 0.1 percent.

The BoE is scheduled to release its summary and the minutes of the meeting at 7.00 am ET.

The Swiss National Bank is expected to hold its policy rate and interest on sight deposits at -0.75 percent. The announcement is due at 3.30 am ET.

Across the Atlantic, the weekly jobless claims report may attract attention along with reports on Philadelphia-area manufacturing activity and leading economic indicators.

U.S. stocks ended mixed overnight as traders weighed recent data pointing to a quick economic recovery against reports showing a spike in new coronavirus cases in a number of southern states.

Meanwhile Fed Chair Jerome Powell said in virtual testimony to the House Financial Services Committee that it would be a concern if Congress were to pull back from the support that it is providing too quickly.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average shed 0.7 percent to snap a three-day winning streak and the S&P 500 dropped 0.4 percent, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite edged up 0.2 percent.

European markets rose for a second day running on Wednesday as U.S. lawmakers battled over another stimulus package and EU leaders prepared to discuss a recovery fund worth 750 billion euros ($843 billion).

The Stoxx Europe 600 index rose 0.7 percent. The German DAX rose half a percent, France’s CAC 40 index gained 0.9 percent and the U.K.’s FTSE 100 inched up 0.2 percent.

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