European Shares Seen Lower With Brexit Talks In Focus

European stocks are likely to open lower on Monday as Brexit talks hanged in the balance, with a minister telling the BBC there is “still a deal to be done”.

U.S.-China tensions are also on the rise, with Reuters reporting that the United States is preparing to impose sanctions on at least a dozen Chinese officials over their alleged role in Beijing’s disqualification of elected opposition legislators in Hong Kong.

Meanwhile, rising Covid-19 cases prompted more lockdowns around the world, threatening a global economic recovery.

California entered another wide-sweeping lockdown as the U.S. notched a record number of coronavirus cases in 24 hours for the third day running.

Vaccinations in the U.S. could begin as early as Friday, with a FDA panel scheduled to vote on the matter after reviewing the vaccine’s data at a meeting on Thursday.

On the positive side, China’s exports in November rose 21.1 percent from a year earlier, the fastest pace in almost three years on the back of strong demand for medical goods and electronics, official data showed. Imports grew 4.5 percent last month, slightly less than expected.

Asian markets are trading mixed and gold held steady while oil prices slipped after data showed U.S. energy firms last week added oil and natural gas rigs for the 11th time in 12 weeks. The British pound pared an early decline amid concerns about a Brexit deal.

Destatis is scheduled to issue German industrial production figures for October later in the day. Production is seen rising 1.6 percent month-on-month, the same pace of growth as seen in September.

Across the Atlantic, trading this week may be driven by reaction to developments on the stimulus front, although traders are also likely to keep an eye on reports on consumer and producer price inflation and consumer sentiment.

U.S. stocks hit record closing highs on Friday as positive news around coronavirus vaccine rollouts and signs that Congress is moving closer to a stimulus package helped investors shrug off data showing the slowest U.S. jobs growth in six months.

Government data showed non-farm payroll employment rose by 245,000 jobs in November after increasing by a downwardly revised 610,000 jobs in October.

Economists had expected employment to increase by 469,000 jobs compared to the addition of 638,000 jobs originally reported for the previous month.

Despite the weaker than expected job growth, the unemployment rate dipped to 6.7 percent in November from 6.9 percent in October.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.8 percent, the tech-heavy Nasdaq climbed 0.7 percent and the S&P 500 added 0.9 percent.

European stocks gained ground on Friday on optimism over a swift economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.

The Stoxx Europe 600 index advanced 0.6 percent. The German DAX gained 0.4 percent, France’s CAC 40 index rose 0.6 percent and the U.K.’s FTSE 100 inched up 0.9 percent.

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