European stock markets were mixed Friday, as the region’s soaring pandemic cases weighed on sentiment, and investors wound down what’s set to be the worst week for trading since June.
The Stoxx Europe 600
was flat at 356.09, after closing down 1% on Thursday. The index is set for a 3.4% drop to the week with one session left to trade, and that would mark its worst weekly performance since the week ending June 12, according to FactSet. The German DAX
was flat, the French CAC
fell 0.4% and the FTSE 100
U.S. stocks finished a turbulent session on Thursday with modest gains. Stock futures
Europe is mired in concerns that rising coronavirus cases and fresh restrictions will hamper the early seeds of an economic recovery, which has helped drive investors to the region. Governments in the U.K. and France have introduced new measures to battle climbing cases, while Spain is struggling with a massive outbreak in its Madrid region.
Investors “have every right to be worried about the coronavirus stock market rally, which is under a great threat. The airline, retail, and hospitality sectors are the ones to keep an eye on as investors continue to question their future,” said Naeem Aslam, chief market analyst at AvaTrade.
Meanwhile, the lack of a U.S. stimulus bill ahead of presidential elections has acted as weight on sentiment globally.
“Given the continued political impasse, we think that the odds of a passage of the fiscal package has now fallen below 20%. If an agreement is not reached by the end of September, it will almost certainly not happen until next year,” said Benedicte Lowe, cross asset strategist at BNP Paribas London, in a note to clients.
Drugmakers were among the worst performers, with shares of AstraZeneca
all down around 1% or more.
Airlines were again under pressure, with shares of British Airways operator International Consolidated Airlines
dropping 4%, and Deutsche Lufthansa
and Ryanair Holdings
down 2% each.