Stocks - Europe Seen Mixed; Germany Boosted by Factory Data

Stocks - Europe Seen Mixed; Germany Boosted by Factory Data  | Aug 06, 2020 07:12

Stocks - Europe Seen Mixed; Germany Boosted by Factory Data

By Peter Nurse - European stock markets are seen opening mixed Thursday, with the German market outperforming after positive economic data while the Bank of England kept monetary policy unchanged. Investors remain focused on the timing of the latest U.S. relief bill and the ongoing earnings season.

At 2:10 AM ET (0610 GMT), the DAX futures contract in Germany traded 0.3% higher, the FTSE 100 futures contract in the U.K. fell 0.5%, while CAC 40 futures in France dropped 0.5%.

In Germany, factory orders soared in June, climbing 27.9% data showed earlier Thursday, far above the 10% gain expected. This provided hope that Europe’s manufacturing engine may be recovering more quickly than expected from the coronavirus-related downturn.

The Bank of England maintained its key interest rate at 0.10% earlier Thursday, and kept its powder dry in terms of additional stimulus. Attention will now turn to comments from Governor Andrew Bailey over how fast he expects the economy to rebound from the financial damage wrought by the pandemic.

Elsewhere, top congressional Democrats and White House officials appeared to harden their stances on the new coronavirus relief plan on Wednesday.

"There are no top line numbers that have been agreed to. We continue to be trillions of dollars apart in terms of what Democrats and Republicans hopefully will ultimately compromise on," said White House chief of staff Mark Meadows late Wednesday.

Meanwhile, the global death toll from Covid-19 is now over 707,000, according to data from Johns Hopkins University, while in the U.S., California reported its second-deadliest day from the virus on Wednesday and Florida’s case count topped 500,000.

In corporate news, Lufthansa (DE:LHAG) posted a second-quarter loss of 1.5 billion euros, and the German airline said it doesn't expect air travel demand to return to pre-crisis levels before 2024.

Credit Agricole (PA:CAGR), France’s second-largest listed bank, reported a 22% drop in quarterly profit on Thursday as it took provisions of 842 million euros against potential bad loans, while insurer AXA's (PA:AXAF) net income fell 39% as it booked a 1.5 billion-euro charge for claims related to Covid-19.

Adidas (DE:ADSGN) reported a second-quarter operating loss of 333 million euros, but the sportswear firm said it expects a rebound in profit in the third quarter. 

Oil prices pushed higher Thursday, maintaining the positive momentum generated Wednesday after the Energy Information Administration reported a much bigger-than-expected drop in U.S. crude stockpiles. 

EIA data predicted a 7.37 million-barrel draw in crude oil inventories late Wednesday, more than double the 3 million-barrel draw forecasted, pushing prices to five-month highs.

U.S. crude futures traded 0.5% lower at $42.41 a barrel, while the international benchmark Brent contract rose 0.8% to $45.51. 

Elsewhere, gold futures rose 0.6% to $2,048.90/oz, continuing to set record highs after breaking past the $2,000 an ounce mark, while EUR/USD traded at 1.1895, up 0.3%.


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