European stocks may open lower on Monday as investors brace for pre-and post-election uncertainty in the United States.
With nine day before Election Day, reports suggest that Democrats have continued to dominate the initial balloting, but Republicans are narrowing the gap.
Vice President Mike Pence campaigned on Sunday despite a Covid-19 outbreak among his aides while President Donald Trump claimed progress as the U.S. coronavirus infections hit a record for the second day.
Closer home, new coronavirus cases in France hit a record of more than 50,000 on Sunday, underlining the severity of the outbreak.
Spain announced emergency measures including a nationwide curfew, while Italy imposed at least a month of new restrictions across the country to fight rising coronavirus infections.
In Asia, China reported the highest number of asymptomatic Covid-19 cases in nearly seven months while India reported the lowest number of cases since late July.
“The next few months are going to be very tough and some countries are on a dangerous track,” WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told a news conference on Friday.
There is some good news on the vaccine front, with AstraZeneca Plc and Johnson & Johnson announcing they will resume Covid-19 vaccine clinical trials that had been halted by U.S. regulators.
Asian markets remain subdued in cautious trade as U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin stopped negotiating on the coronavirus stimulus package, with President Donald Trump accusing Pelosi of intentionally avoiding a deal before the election.
Gold edged lower as the dollar inched up against a basket of currencies ahead of the Bank of Japan and the European Central Bank monetary policy decisions due this week.
Oil prices fell nearly 2 percent on demand concerns. The British pound held steady after trade talks between the U.K. and the European Union were extended to Oct. 28.
U.S. stocks ended mixed on Friday as investors digested a slew of earnings results and kept an eye on the ongoing negotiations between lawmakers over more economic aid for the pandemic-stricken economy.
The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite rose 0.4 percent and the S&P 500 edged up 0.3 percent, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average slid 0.1 percent after Intel posted disappointing data center revenue and American Express reported a nearly 40 percent slump in quarterly profit.
European stocks advanced on Friday in reaction to well-received results from banks and automobile makers as well as optimism about U.S. fiscal stimulus sometime in the foreseeable future.
The pan European Stoxx 600 gained 0.6 percent. The German DAX rose 0.8 percent, France’s CAC 40 index rallied 1.2 percent and the U.K.’s FTSE 100 climbed 1.3 percent.
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