European Shares Set To Follow Asian Peers Lower

stockmarkets jan04 12apr21 lt

European stocks may drift lower at open on Monday as investors weigh an uneven global economic recovery and brace for U.S. earnings reports this week.

Asian markets fell in cautious trade as a resurgence of coronavirus infections in many countries and shortage in vaccine supplies undermined investor confidence in the economic recovery from the pandemic.

Chinese regulators have hit e-commerce giant Alibaba with a massive 18.2 billion yuan ($2.78 billion) fine for abusing its dominant position over rivals and merchants on its e-commerce platforms, but the company said that it accepted the record penalty imposed by the country's anti-monopoly regulator.

Gold prices fell, weighed down by surging U.S. Treasury yields and a firmer dollar as investors react to stronger-than-expected U.S. producer inflation data and the latest upbeat economic assessment from Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell.

Powell told CBS in an interview that the U.S. economy is poised for an extended period of strong growth and hiring even though the coronavirus still poses some risk.

Oil prices held steady in Asian trade amid hopes that fuel demand is picking up in the United States.

It's a relatively quiet day on the economic front, with February retail sales data for the Eurozone due out later in the day. The U.S. sells three-, 10- and 30-year Treasuries at the start of the week.

The U.S. earnings season begins this week with major banks like JPMorgan, Citigroup, Morgan Stanley among others reporting results.

U.S. officials and company executives are due to discuss the global shortage of computer chips today.

U.S. stocks rose on Friday as the Fed's dovish tone, higher-than-expected inflation data and an uptick in Treasury yields added to investor optimism about economic recovery.

Meanwhile, the latest data from the Centers for Disease Control showed nearly 20 percent of Americans are fully vaccinated against the coronavirus.

The Dow climbed 0.9 percent and the S&P 500 gained 0.8 percent to reach record closing highs while the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite rose half a percent to reach its best closing level in almost two months.

European stocks ended mostly higher on Friday despite some disappointing economic data from the euro area and signs of rising inflation in China.

The pan European Stoxx 600 closed flat with a positive bias. The German DAX edged up 0.2 percent and France's CAC 40 index inched up 0.1 percent while the U.K.'s FTSE 100 dropped 0.4 percent.

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