Introduction: Stock markets subdued amid new Covid tiers
Good morning, and welcome to our rolling coverage of the world economy, the financial markets, the eurozone and business.
The equity rally stalled yesterday and trading is expected to be subdued throughout the Friday session, as Europe prepares for further Covid restrictions that are expected to continue throughout December.
While countries like the UK are set to relax rules for a few days at Christmas, news of tougher tiered restrictions for England have sparked controversy – given that just 1% of the population is being granted light restrictions after the national lockdown ends on 2 December.
It has drawn harsh criticism from the hospitality sector, which was hoping for a busy holiday season to help make up for lost business during lockdown. Pub groups yesterday confirmed another 1,700 job cuts despite the Chancellor’s extension of the furlough wage scheme.
Europe’s wider services sector is set to suffer over the coming weeks, with Germany’s Covid restrictions continuing until at least 20 December, and France tightening rules for hospitality until 20 January.
And lest we forget, Brexit jitters are also weighing on the minds of investors, even as face-to-face talks are poised to re-start this weekend.
And surprise, surprise, European futures are pointing to a weak start to trading:
After a day off for the Thanksgiving holiday on Thursday, US markets will be open for a half day of trading today.
We’ll bring you the opening prints for Wall Street later this afternoon.
10.00am GMT: Eurozone business confidence for November, Consumer confidence for November (final)