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European stock markets lacklustre as shops reopen across England

April 12
13:04 2021
Customers queue to enter as retail store Primark in Birmingham, Britain reopens its doors after a third lockdown imposed in early January due to the ongoing coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, April 12, 2021. REUTERS/Carl Recine

Today marks the first day in months that non-essential retailers and outdoor hospitality venues have been allowed to reopen in England and Wales, including indoor leisure facilities such as gyms, hairdressers, pubs and restaurants and zoos and theme parks. Photo: REUTERS/Carl Recine

European stock markets opened mixed on Monday as the UK economy entered its second phase of prime minister Boris Johnson’s roadmap out of lockdown.

In London, the FTSE 100 (^FTSE) fell 0.37%, while the CAC (^FCHI) tumbled 0.19% and the DAX (^GDAXI) was flat, trading 0.18% higher.

Today marks the first day in months that non-essential retailers and outdoor hospitality venues have been allowed to reopen in England and Wales, including indoor leisure facilities such as gyms, hairdressers, pubs and restaurants and zoos and theme parks.

Outside, six people or two households can meet and weddings and funerals can have up to 15 and 30 people, respectively. Children will be able to attend any indoor children’s activity and care home visitors will increase to two per resident.

So far, 32.1 million people in the UK have received their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, according to the latest government figures.

Step three of the PM’s plan is meant to see international travel open up by 17 May at the earliest.

READ MORE: Small business confidence rebounds as shops reopen in England and Wales

Across the pond, S&P 500 futures (ES=F) were down 0.27% at the European open, Dow futures (YM=F) shed 0.32%, and Nasdaq futures (NQ=F) were 0.22% lower.

The retreat comes after a third straight week of gains for the S&P 500 Index (^GSPC), with investors bracing for earnings reports.

Asian stocks slipped overnight as traders mulled an uneven global recovery from the coronavirus pandemic and the latest upbeat US outlook from Federal Reserve chair Jerome Powell.

Markets in China and Hong Kong lagged while India’s Sensex (^BSESN) slumped to a 10-week low as daily COVID-19 infections spiked.

In Japan, the Nikkei (^N225) fell 0.77%. The Hang Seng (^HSI) fell 0.85% and the Shanghai Composite (000001.SS) dipped 1.09%

“The big thing markets are trying to price currently is what does the world look like with another period of US economic outperformance,” said Kyle Rodda, analyst at IG Markets.

“Europe can’t get its economic or health affairs in order, China doesn’t look like it wants to run its economy too hot.”

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