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European Shares Set To Open On Cautious Note

stockmarkets aug20 26mar20 lt

European stocks may drift lower at open on Thursday as investors look past stimulus packages to focus on economic fallout from the novel coronavirus pandemic.

The death toll in the United States topped 1,000 on Wednesday night, according to Johns Hopkins University.

The U.S. has the third-highest number of confirmed cases — at 68,572. New York has been hit especially hard by the illness, with nearly 33,000 cases.

The U.S. is facing a very sharp, short recession because everything is shutting down, former Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke warned, but added that there could be a fairly quick rebound.

U.S. President Donald Trump has said that he hopes the United States will shake off coronavirus by Easter, terming it as "a beautiful timeline."

Addressing a White House news conference Tuesday, he warned that if the country continues to lock down without business, it could suffer "a massive recession or depression."

Globally, the virus has killed more than 21,000 people and infected 471,035.

Spain's coronavirus death toll overtook that of China, rising to 3,434 after 738 people died over the past 24 hours. In Italy, there were more than 680 deaths in the last 24 hours.

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of WHO on Wednesday said that a lockdown, which is being implemented by several countries to combat COVID-19, will not be enough to eradicate the coronavirus pandemic from the world.

"Aggressive measures to find, isolate, test, treat and trace is not only the best and fastest way out of extreme social and economic restrictions, but they're also the best way to prevent them," Tedros said.

Asian markets are trading mixed despite the passage of the U.S. stimulus bill.
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer announced that the House will convene at 9 a.m. on Friday to consider the relief package. Oil prices slipped after three days of gains.

German Gfk consumer confidence survey data, U.K. retail sales figures for February and the interest rate announcement from the Bank of England are due later in the day, headlining a busy day for the European economic news.

Across the Atlantic, a report on weekly jobless claims may attract some attention, as it will be among the first data points to reflect the impact of the coronavirus outbreak.

Overnight, U.S. stocks gave up some early gains to end mixed after a handful of
Republican senators threatened to delay the $2 trillion coronavirus spending bill over the expansion of unemployment benefits.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rallied 2.4 percent and the S&P 500 climbed 1.2 percent, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite index dropped half a percent.

European markets posted strong gains on Wednesday amid renewed optimism about U.S. stimulus. The pan European Stoxx 600 surged 3.1 percent. The German DAX gained 1.8 percent, while France's CAC 40 index and the U.K.'s FTSE 100 both spiked about 4.5 percent.

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