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European stocks, U.S. futures slip on coronavirus fears

European stocks, U.S. futures slip on coronavirus fears – MarketWatchMarketWatch logo

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European stocks edged lower on Monday, reacting to negative coronavirus developments ahead of key inflation and earnings reports later in the week from the U.S.

The Stoxx Europe 600 SXXP, -0.46% weakened 0.2%, following big drops in Mumbai 1, -3.44% and Shanghai SHCOMP, -1.09%. India saw a spate of new coronavirus cases, while China said its vaccine effectiveness was low.

Germany also was preparing new legislation enabling the country to impose national restrictions without regional government approval. England meanwhile reopened pubs, for outdoor drinking, and hairdressers.

U.S. stock futures ES00, +0.01% NQ00, +0.05% also were lower, ahead of consumer price data on Tuesday and earnings from major banks including JPMorgan Chase and Goldman Sachs. The decline also follows an optimistic commentary from Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell, who told the “60 Minutes” news program that the U.S. economy was at an inflection point that the U.S. central bank wouldn’t stop by lifting interest rates.

“We remain resolutely bullish on cyclical assets/ value style, in particular equities. We see little risk in the short term susceptible of derailing their uptrend: our view is that the market should oscillate between the Fed’s scenario and, as the macroeconomic momentum and inflation pick up (very swiftly we would wager), a more aggressive scenario for interest rates (with a risk for the U.S. real interest rate), favorable to value style for equities,” said Florent Pochon, a strategist at French bank Natixis.

Suez SEV, +7.73% shares rose 8% and Veolia Environnement VIE, +9.66% added 9% as the two sides said they have reached a deal in principle on a merger, with Veolia to pay €20.50 per share. The two utility groups have agreed to enter into definitive merger agreements by May 14. Only last week Veolia had said Suez was doing everything it could to make it impossible for a deal to be reached.

Shares of Italian diagnostic specialist DiaSorin DIA, +9.63% surged 8%, after announcing a deal to buy COVID-19 testing kit maker Luminex Corp. LMNX, +12.38% for around $1.8 billion, or $37 per share.

Teleperformance TEP, +1.53%, a provider of customer service outsourcing, rose 2% after lifting its like-for-like full-year 2021 revenue growth target to at least 12% from at least 9%, after a first-quarter like-for-like revenue jump of 36%. It cited a strong sales performance in continental Europe and in the Ibero-LATAM region, as well as Dutch and U.K. government contracts.

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Cannacord analyst Jonathan Dorsheimer upgraded shares to Buy and took his target from $419 all the way up to $1,071.


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