European Shares Seen Lower Amid Covid Surge

stockmarkets jan18 24nov21 lt

European stocks are seen opening flat to slightly lower on Wednesday as Covid-19 cases continue to climb in several European hot spots.

A further 700,000 people could die of Covid by March in Europe and parts of Asia, the World Health Organization has warned.

Asian markets fell broadly amid worries the Federal Reserve might accelerate its plans to raise interest rates.

Some Asian central banks have already begun to raise interest rates, with New Zealand's central bank lifting interest rates for the second time in as many months to 0.75 percent to contain inflationary pressures.

Oil extended overnight gains after major oil-consuming economies announced a smaller-than-expected release from their strategic petroleum reserves.

Gold edged higher as the dollar index steadied near its highest in 16 months on expectations of an early policy tightening by the Federal Reserve.

Investors await U.S. reports on weekly jobless claims, durable goods orders, new home sales and personal income and spending as well as the minutes of the latest Fed meeting later in the day for more insight on price pressures and the economic recovery.

U.S. markets will be closed on Thursday for the Thanksgiving Day holiday and open for just a half-day on Friday.

Closer home, business sentiment survey results from Germany and France will be in focus early in the session.

U.S. stocks ended mixed overnight as financials surged, but a continued increase in treasury yields following Fed Chair Powell's re-nomination weighed on high-growth tech stocks.

The Nasdaq Composite shed half a percent, while the Dow rose 0.6 percent and the S&P 500 inched up 0.2 percent.

European stocks settled lower on Tuesday amid the return of Covid-19 restrictions in Europe and other worries surrounding inflation and interest-rate hikes.

The pan European Stoxx 600 fell 1.3 percent. The German DAX lost 1.1 percent and France's CAC 40 index dropped 0.9 percent while the U.K.'s FTSE 100 inched up 0.2 percent.

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