European Shares Seen Tad Lower Amid Virus Worries

European stocks are seen opening lower on Friday after data showed coronavirus infections are picking up again in Europe.

France, Germany and Spain recorded highest daily rise in infections for months, raising fears that a second wave of virus is on the march across the continent.

Elsewhere, a widely cited University of Washington model predicted that the U.S. death toll may almost double by December if the pandemic’s pace doesn’t change.

Investors also keep an eye on developments in Washington as Democrats and Trump administration officials continue to negotiate over a new coronavirus relief bill.

Asian markets are moving lower as ongoing U.S.-China tensions overshadowed better-than-expected exports data from China.

Gold hit a record high and the dollar steadied as U.S. President Donald Trump signed an executive order to ban transactions with TikTok’s parent company ByteDance. Trump also signed another order prohibiting transactions related to WeChat.

Meanwhile, a high-powered U.S. panel recommended tightening the disclosure requirements for Chinese companies listed on American exchanges.

Oil prices hovered near five-month highs after Saudi Arabia and Iraq stressed their full commitment to the OPEC+ deal.

China’s exports grew unexpectedly in July, while imports declined from the previous year, data from the customs administration revealed earlier today.

Exports grew 7.2 percent on a yearly basis in July, confounding expectations for a drop of 0.2 percent. At the same time, imports dropped 1.4 percent year on year in contrast to a 1 percent rise economists’ had forecast.

As a result, the trade surplus totaled $62.33 billion in July. Economists had forecast the surplus to fall to $42 billion from June’s $46.42 billion surplus.

Industrial production and foreign trade figures from Germany are due later in the session, headlining a light day for the European economic news.

Across the Atlantic, the monthly jobs report is likely to be in focus, overshadowing reports on wholesale inventories and consumer credit.

Economists expect U.S. employment to jump by about 1.6 million jobs in July after spiking by 4.8 million jobs in June. The unemployment rate is expected to dip to 10.5 percent from 11.1 percent.

U.S. stocks rose overnight after the number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits came in below expectations and President Trump said he could issue executive orders if Democrats won’t agree to a new coronavirus stimulus bill.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite rallied 1 percent to a fresh record closing high, while the S&P 500 rose 0.6 percent and the Dow gained 0.7 percent to end the day at their best closing levels in five and two months, respectively.

European stocks fell on Thursday after the Bank of England warned of a slower post-pandemic economic rebound in the U.K.

The pan European Stoxx 600 declined 0.7 percent. The German DAX dropped half a percent, France’s CAC 40 index shed 1 percent and the U.K.’s FTSE 100 lost 1.3 percent.

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