European Equity Futures Higher; Vaccine optimism helps


© Reuters.

By Peter Nurse – European stock markets are forecast to rise at the open on Friday amid optimism that the ongoing global vaccination program will restore the region’s economy, especially in the UK, and accelerate the recovery of earnings. At 2:05 AM ET (0705 GMT), the contract in Germany was up 0.2%, in France it was up 0.4% and the contract in the UK was up 0.1%. The euro zone has been hit hard by the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic, and the region’s GDP fell 0.7% in the final quarter of 2020 as governments introduced new restrictions and closures to try to stem the growth. virus. Growth in the first quarter of the new year is also likely to be negative, but there is hope for the future. The Bank of England, for example, while holding its Thursday, said the UK economy, one of the worst hit in Europe, is heading for a rapid rebound in light of a bold vaccination effort. “With Covid-19 cases now declining in certain regions, including the US and the UK, there will be a glimmer of hope that the worst is over, particularly as vaccine rollout recovers.” ING analysts said. in a research note. Furthermore, it seems likely that more US stimulus will be available in the coming weeks, while drug maker Johnson & Johnson (NYSE 🙂 asked US regulators to authorize its experimental Covid-19 vaccine to emergency use on Thursday, which could add to the pool of available medications. to fight the virus. Corporate earnings have been reasonably strong so far this season, expected to continue on Friday after BNP Paribas (OTC 🙂 provided upbeat guidance for 2021, helped by strong business figures in the fourth quarter of last year. . On the economic data front, German fell 1.9% in December, a sharp drop from the revised 2.7% rise the previous month, as lockdowns hurt the manufacturing sector in the European powerhouse. However, the focus will turn to the Official US later in Friday’s session, and job growth is expected to have picked up in January as authorities began easing restrictions on businesses. Oil prices stabilized on Friday, reaching their highest levels in a year thanks to optimism for future economic growth, as well as the continued commitment of major producers to curb supply. Futures were up 0.7% higher at $ 56.61 a barrel, after hitting a high of $ 56.84, their highest level since January 22 of last year, and are on track for a weekly gain of almost 9%, which would be its biggest weekly gain since October. The international benchmark contract rose 0.3% to $ 59.19, after peaking at $ 59.41, its highest level since February 20 last year, and on track to rise 6% this week. Elsewhere, it was up 0.4% to $ 1,799.20 / oz, while it traded 0.1% higher at 1.1967.