European Markets Advance on Italian data; Virus Concerns Cap Sentiment

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European stocks are bucking the overnight trend in Asia Pacific, where markets retreated as an absence of significant economic data left anxiety around the virus to dominate investor sentiment.

The U.S. saw infections rise again on Thursday, with California and Florida among 12 states breaking records on seven-day averages for daily new cases, CNBC analysis showed.

European markets reversed early losses on Friday as data showed Italian industry output rebounding more strongly than expected in May.

TICKER COMPANY NAME PRICE CHANGE %CHANGE VOLUME 
.FTSEFTSE 100FTSE6072.0922.470.37215940793
.GDAXIDAXDAX12520.0730.610.2522401358
.FCHICAC 40 IndexCAC4933.9712.960.2625536816

The pan-European Stoxx 600 gained 0.3% by late morning, chemicals adding 0.8% to lead gains as the majority of sectors entered positive territory. Household goods slid 0.3% lower.

The region’s stocks are bucking the overnight trend in Asia Pacific, where markets broadly retreated as an absence of significant economic data left anxiety around the virus to dominate investor sentiment. 

Having begun the session in the red, markets across the continent received a boost after data showed Italian industrial production jumped 42.1% in May from the previous month, as the country emerged from lockdown, outstripping the median forecast of 22.8% by analysts polled by Reuters.

Concerns about spiking coronavirus cases in the U.S. and elsewhere continue to weigh on the broad recovery rally, however.

The U.S. saw infections rise again on Thursday, with California and Florida among 12 states breaking records on seven-day averages for daily new cases, CNBC analysis showed. A Reuters tally indicated that more than 60,500 new cases were confirmed nationwide Thursday, a fresh daily record.

The World Health Organization cautioned that the virus is “getting worse” in most of the world, with more than 12.2 million confirmed cases globally, according to Johns Hopkins University.

The Australian city of Melbourne is in lockdown once again following a spike in cases as Australian authorities consider slowing the return of citizens amid an outbreak in the state of Victoria, Reuters reported Thursday. Meanwhile, all schools in Hong Kong will be closed from Monday after a spike in locally-transmitted coronavirus infections, Reuters reported Friday. 

Geopolitical disputes continue to simmer in the background, and the U.S. is expected to announce deferred retaliatory measures against France over its digital services tax on Friday, according to U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer.

The U.K. announced Thursday that indoor gyms and swimming pools will reopen from July 25, while outdoor pools and performances will be allowed from this weekend as the country continues to unwind its lockdown measures. Beauticians, tattooists, spas, tanning salons and other close-contact services can open from Monday subject to certain restrictions.

In terms of individual stocks, Carlsberg added 5.2% after the Danish brewer signaled that the slump in beer sales across Western Europe is slowing. French telecoms provider SES climbed 5.1%. At the other end of the European blue chip index, Austrian electricity firm Verbund slid 2.5%.

SOURCE: CNBC

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