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European Shares Set To Follow Asian Peers Higher

stockmarkets dec17 23nov20 lt

European stocks are likely to open higher on Monday, even as the upside may remain capped by worries about rising coronavirus cases and the slow pace of progress over stimulus to boost the U.S. economy.

The U.S. has already seen more than 3 million new coronavirus cases in November as of Sunday, according to Johns Hopkins University.

Total cases topped 12 million over the weekend with over 255,000 deaths ahead of Thanksgiving.

Some 70 percent of the U.S. population of 330 million would need to be inoculated to achieve "herd" immunity from the virus, according to Dr. Moncef Slaoui, chief scientific adviser for "Operation Warp Speed."

Meanwhile, the World Health Organization's (WHO) special Covid-19 envoy has slammed Europe's response to the coronavirus pandemic and warned that Europe was likely to see a third wave of the deadly pandemic in early 2021 before a vaccine can be introduced.

Apart from the impact of pandemic-related lockdowns, investors remain concerned about the lack of action on a second stimulus bill in the United States.

U.S. President-elect Joe Biden will announce the first of his Cabinet appointments on Tuesday and planning is underway for a pandemic-modified inauguration in January.

A broad gauge of Asian shares hit record highs, though trading activity remained thin amid a holiday in Japan.

Oil extended gains and gold edged up slightly as the dollar softened on optimism over a potential early rollout of Covid-19 vaccines.

Flash Purchasing Managers' survey results from euro area and the U.K. are due later in the session, headlining a light day for the European economic news.

U.S. stocks ended firmly in negative territory on Friday as new coronavirus cases continued to surge and U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin defended his decision to end several of the Fed's economic support programs on Dec. 31.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average shed 0.8 percent, the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite eased 0.4 percent and the S&P 500 dropped 0.7 percent.

European stocks advanced on Friday as investors looked past spiraling coronavirus cases and uncertainty over U.S. stimulus.

The pan European Stoxx 600 gained half a percent. The German DAX and France's CAC 40 index both rose about 0.4 percent while the U.K.'s FTSE 100 edged up 0.3 percent.

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