European stocks may open on a cautious note Friday, with worries surrounding China’s property sector likely to be in focus after China Evergrande Group and Kaisa Group Holdings officially defaulted on their dollar debt.
In another significant development, China’s yuan weakened sharply from a 3-1/2-year high against the dollar after the People’s Bank of China set a much weaker-than-expected midpoint following a directive the previous day that banks hold more foreign exchange in reserve.
On the Covid-19 front, the World Health Organization’s (WHO) vaccine advisory panel recommended that people who are immunocompromised or received an inactivated vaccine should receive a booster dose of a Covid-19 shot.
Asian markets were trading lower on worries that the spread of Omicron Coronavirus variant and a further tightening of restrictions could dent the ongoing economic recovery.
The dollar held firm and Treasuries were little changed ahead of a report on U.S. consumer inflation due to be released later in the day that could impact the outlook for Fed policy.
The Federal Reserve meeting is scheduled next week amid expectations the U.S. central bank could decide to double the pace of tapering its asset purchase program to $30 billion per month.
Oil prices eased further n Asian trade after ending sharply lower on Thursday amid concerns over downside risks to demand due to the Omicron variant.
Finalized German inflation figures for November and consumer sentiment numbers from the United States are due out later in the day.
U.S. stocks closed lower overnight after gaining for three straight days, as investors reacted to new virus restrictions in the U.K. and declining jobless claims figures.
The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite fell as much as 1.7 percent, while the S&P 500 shed 0.7 percent and the Dow finished marginally lower.
European stocks ended slightly lower on Thursday as many countries in the region battled to stop a fourth wave of the pandemic by imposing stricter restrictions on movements.
The pan European Stoxx 600 ended flat with a negative bias. The German DAX dipped 0.3 percent, France’s CAC 40 index slipped 0.1 percent and the U.K.’s FTSE 100 eased 0.2 percent.
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