European Shares Seen Opening On Cautious Note

European stocks are seen opening on a cautious note Wednesday amid the worsening coronavirus outbreak.

China reported an increase in imported coronavirus cases today, reversing four straight days of fewer new cases.

The total number of cases worldwide neared 120,000, with a rapid growth in new infections in Italy, France, Spain, Germany and Iran.

The number of deaths has increased to more than 4,200 people. The total number of cases in the U.S. is now over 955, with at least 29 deaths.

Asian stocks remain mostly lower, with benchmark indexes in Japan, Australia, and South Korea falling 2-4 percent despite expectations the Trump administration will act to cushion the economic pain of the virus outbreak.

Media reports suggest that U.S. President Donald Trump briefed Senate Republicans Tuesday on his proposed economic stimulus package in response to the coronavirus outbreak.

White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow declined to specify the dollar amount for the package, but confirmed that Trump prefers it include a payroll tax “holiday” through the end of this year.

Elsewhere, Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte is looking to increase Italy’s fiscal stimulus package for the fourth time in a month, while the Japanese government has decided on its second emergency package to deal with the coronavirus outbreak. Australia, Britain and Canada are expected to unveil measures in the coming days.

The dollar resumed its descent against the safe-haven Japanese yen and the Swiss franc. Gold rose slightly after having fallen nearly 2 percent on Tuesday on hopes for global stimulus measures. Oil prices extended gains for the second day running on hopes that U.S. producers would cut output.

Signs of life returning to China’s Hubei province – the centre of the outbreak – after weeks of quarantine were also helped the beleaguered crude market.

U.S. stocks showed wild swings on Tuesday before ending sharply higher in reaction to President Donald Trump’s pledge to provide “very substantial relief” to combat the coronavirus outbreak.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 jumped around 4.9 percent, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite spiked 5 percent.

European stock markets gave up early gains to end mostly lower on Tuesday. The pan-European Stoxx Europe 600 index dropped 1.1 percent to the lowest level since January 2019.

The German DAX tumbled 1.4 percent, France’s CAC 40 index shed 1.5 percent and the U.K.’s FTSE 100 slipped 0.1 percent.

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