European markets head for negative open, following downward trend set in U.S.

Australian dollars in Sydney, Friday, Jan. 15, 2016. (AAP Image/Joel Carrett) NO ARCHIVING
  • London's FTSE is seen opening 71 points lower at 6,316, Germany's DAX down 115 points at 13,113, France's CAC 40 52 points lower at 5,400 and Italy's FTSE MIB 145 points lower at 20,776, according to IG.

LONDON — European stocks are expected to open lower Thursday, bucking a positive trend seen in Asia and the U.S. as tech stocks rallied in the previous session.

London's FTSE is seen opening 71 points lower at 6,316, Germany's DAX down 115 points at 13,113, France's CAC 40 52 points lower at 5,400 and Italy's FTSE MIB 145 points lower at 20,776, according to IG.

European stocks are expected to follow their U.S. counterparts lower Thursday. U.S. stock futures were lower on Wednesday evening following a strong session for tech stocks.

Futures contracts tied to the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 181 points. Those for the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq 100 also traded in negative territory.

Stocks in Asia-Pacific were little changed in Thursday trade following the bounce for tech stocks on Wall Street as the recent rotation into cyclicals — that would benefit from an economic recovery — paused.

The rally earlier in the week for stocks dependent on a recovery was prompted by the announcement from Pfizer and BioNTech on Monday, that the companies' Covid-19 vaccine candidate appeared to be more than 90% effective in its phase three clinical trial.

More positive news on the vaccine front could come soon, as Moderna announced on Wednesday evening that its phase three trial had accrued enough cases of the coronavirus to submit the preliminary results to an independent safety monitoring board.

The positive news for vaccines comes amid a worrying rise in Covid-19 cases across the U.S. which has now confirmed more than 10 million cases. The U.S set a new high for seven-day average daily Covid infections of 121,153 on Tuesday, a 33% rise from a week ago, according to a CNBC analysis of data from Johns Hopkins University.

Some areas of the country, including New York City and San Francisco, have announced new economic restrictions in an attempt to slow the spread.

Earnings in Europe come from Burberry, Zurich Insurance, Generali, Bilfinger and Raiffeisen Bank. The U.K. releases preliminary third-quarter growth data and the euro area industrial production figures for September are due.

– CNBC's Melodie Warner, Jesse Pound and Eustance Huang contributed reporting to this story.

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