European Shares Seen Up In Cautious Trade

European stocks are likely to open on a positive note Friday, even as the upside may remain capped amid lingering worries about the spread of the new coronavirus variant.

The Omicron variant of Covid-19 could cause more than half of all SARS-CoV-2 infections in Europe in coming months, the EU health agency ECDC said.

Germany’s national and regional leaders have agreed to bar unvaccinated people from much of public life to break a dramatic surge in daily Covid-19 cases.

Asian markets were seeing modest gains after scientists in South Africa said most cases of the new Covid-19 strain appeared to be mild in general. In the United States, all three people with confirmed cases have had mild symptoms.

Investors shrugged off concerns about China after ride-hailing giant Didi Global announced plans to take its shares off the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE).

The dollar edged higher after more hawkish remarks from U.S. central bankers, with San Francisco Fed President Mary Daly saying it may be time to pull rate hikes forward to combat inflation.

Richmond Fed President Thomas Barkin also said that he’s supportive of normalizing policy.

Gold headed for a weekly fall, while oil extended overnight gains after OPEC+ agreed to stick to their existing policy of monthly oil output increases but left room for quick adjustments if the Omicron variant hits demand.

On the data front, the services sector in China continued to expand in November, albeit at a slower pace, the latest survey from Caixin showed earlier today with a PMI score of 52.1, down from 53.8 in October.

It’s a busy day ahead on the Eurozone’s economic calendar, with service and composite PMIs for November likely to be in focus.

Across the Atlantic, the Labor Department’s closely-watched monthly jobs report as well as separate reports on service sector activity and factory orders will be in the spotlight.

Overnight, U.S. stocks advanced to snap a two-day losing streak. The Dow climbed 1.8 percent, the S&P 500 gained 1.4 percent and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite rose 0.8 percent as the Biden administration unveiled its plan for battling Covid-19 this winter.

European markets fell on Thursday amid fears around the Omicron coronavirus variant and warnings about inflation and interest rates from major central banks.

The pan-European Stoxx Europe 600 index declined 1.2 percent. The German DAX lost 1.4 percent, France’s CAC 40 index shed 1.3 percent and the U.K.’s FTSE 100 dropped 0.6 percent.

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