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European Markets to Open Lower as Focus Remains on Earning and Coronavirus

Economic: On Thursday morning, the European market will open slightly lower as China’s coronavirus outbreak remains investors’ primary focus.

According to IG, investors expect the FTSE to open 23 points lower at 7,511. The CAC is 4 points lower at 6,100, and Germany’s DAX may open down 18 points at 13,731.

On Wednesday, European shares rallied to new highs as the fall in new coronavirus cases reported in China the previous day lifted the luxury stocks.

However, on the same day, the death toll and new cases recorded in Hubei province- the center of the outbreak rose sharply, according to the local health authorities.

Hubei reported an additional 242 deaths and 14,840 new cases for February, bringing the total number of deaths to 1,310. New cases rose dramatically after Hubei changed its method of reporting cases. It started including “clinically diagnosed” cases in its figures. So, the 13,332 falls under the new classification.

Investors are monitoring the situation in China and how it may affect both the Chinese and global economies.

On Wednesday, Kristalina Georgieva, the IMF’s Managing Director, told CNBC the new strain of coronavirus affected the world economy more than the 200-2003 SARS epidemic.

Since the outbreak, many Chinese factories and businesses have closed, leading to a demand for business loans to hike. Major global airlines have also suspended flights to mainland China. Also, the cancellation of a major world event like Barcelona’s Mobile World to prevent virus spread.

Chinese policymakers are taking measures to minimize the shock to China’s domestic economy. The People’s Bank of China (PBOC) announced last week it would ease monetary policy. On Tuesday, China’s government rolled out tax guidelines to help reduce financial pressure on critical sectors.

Asian Shares Traded in the Negative

On Thursday, Asian shares dipped lower on the back of the upsurge in Hubei province’s coronavirus cases. Japan Nikkei, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng, and Shanghai & Shenzhen composite all traded in the negative.

In Europe, Boris Johnson, the British prime minister, is expected to reshape his government on Thursday, as the UK forges after Brexit.

In Ireland, politics also stay in focus where lawmakers are working to negotiate a new government. No political party secured a clear majority win in the country during last weekend’s election.

On Thursday, the UK’s Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors released new data showing that British house prices rose for the first time since July 2018 last month.

European investors will focus on earnings with Airbus, Pernod Ricard, and Commerzbank being among firms set to publish their financial results.

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