European stocks pause and US futures rise despite lockdown extensions and concerns about AstraZeneca vaccine

With the new COVID-19 restrictions in the UK, most regions will return to tougher measures than they were before the national lockdown

Lindsey Parnaby / Agence France-Presse / Getty Images

European stocks were mixed early Friday as investors digested the expansion of COVID-19 restrictions across the continent and concerns over AstraZeneca’s vaccine candidate.

The Europe-wide Stoxx 600 SXXP,
+ 0.04%
fell 0.1% in early trading, while the German DAX DAX,
+ 0.22%
was flat and the French CAC PX1,
+ 0.49%
rose 0.2% on what is expected to be a quiet end of the week.

US stock futures rose ahead of an abbreviated trading session on Wall Street with Dow futures YM00,
+ 0.19%
plus 0.2% or 49 points, Nasdaq Futures NQ00,
+ 0.35%
plus 0.3% and S&P 500 Futures ES00,
+ 0.21%
0.1% higher. The New York Stock Exchange and Nasdaq will close at 1 p.m. ET, Closed on Thursday for Thanksgiving.

The FTSE 100 UKX,
The index fell 0.8% after the UK government announced it Most regions would return to tighter restrictions As soon as the national lockdown is lifted next week. The majority of the country will be subject to stricter measures than before the country went into lockdown On the 5th of November.

Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Thursday the partial lockdown of the country would be extended until December 20, while France will remain in lockdown until December 15, raising concerns about the economic impact in the months ahead before a possible vaccine.

“This end of week caution seems to stem from concerns about the near-term economic outlook as the expansion of tighter restrictions on economic activity in France, Germany and the UK creates further uncertainty about the potential for permanent economic scars on our path through 2021,” said CMC Markets analyst Michael Hewson.

AstraZeneca AZN,
Shares were down 0.9% early Friday as questions were raised about the latest efficacy data for the experimental vaccine being developed by Oxford University. The British drug maker said the earlier this week The vaccine was about 90% effective when volunteers were given half a dose followed by a full dose one month later, but 62% effective when given two full doses.

According to the company admitted a mistake CEO Pascal Soriot said in an interview with Bloomberg that an additional study is needed.

In more positive news, the vaccine has been referred to UK regulators for approval, which Soriot said is unlikely to be held up by additional international study.

Shares in focus

Shares of Banco de Sabadell SAB,
fell 13% after the Spanish bank said Merger talks with bigger rival BBVA BBVA,
+ 2.57%
was finished. Sabadell said it will instead adopt a new strategy that will prioritize Spanish domestic operations.

British pub chain JD Wetherspoon JDW,
down 2% as the company confirmed 366 of its pubs would have to close under the new UK measures, while another 435 would be open but could only serve alcohol with one meal.

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