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July 10, 2020, 7:35 a.m. EDT

European stocks rise, but focus remains on coronavirus pandemic spread

Second-quarter earnings reporting begins next week

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By Barbara Kollmeyer, MarketWatch


AFP via Getty Images
Brides wearing their wedding dresses hold a flashmob protest against the postponement of their marriages due to the strict protocol on all religious ceremonies during the coronavirus pandemic, on June 7, 2020, by the Trevi Fountain in Rome, Italy.

European stocks were headed for a weekly loss, amid continued concerns over the spread of coronavirus in the U.S. and fresh outbreaks elsewhere in the world, though equities attempted to push higher on Friday.

Shaking off an opening loss, the Stoxx Europe 600 index /zigman2/quotes/210599654/delayed XX:SXXP -1.20%  rose 0.6% to 366.08 after three straight losing sessions. The index has lost 0.8% for the week so far. Elsewhere, the German DAX /zigman2/quotes/210223310/composite DAX -0.59%  was up 0.8%, the French CAC 40 /zigman2/quotes/210597958/delayed FR:PX1 -1.69%  was up 0.7% and the FTSE 100 index /zigman2/quotes/210598409/delayed UK:UKX -1.56%  rose 0.7%.

U.S. stock futures were modestly lower, with those for the Dow Jones Industrial Average /zigman2/quotes/210407078/delayed YM00 -0.30%  down 68 points. The Dow /zigman2/quotes/210598065/realtime DJIA -0.29%  dropped over 300 points on Thursday, with the S&P 500 /zigman2/quotes/210599714/realtime SPX -0.20%  also closing lower, though the Nasdaq Composite /zigman2/quotes/210598365/realtime COMP +0.27%  resumed an advance with a 0.5% again.

Coronavirus concerns dominated after the U.S. saw its sixth daily record for coronavirus cases in 10 days on Thursday, with fatalities also rising in some states. “The closure of schools in Hong Kong and the further tightening of virus restrictions in Australia has also fed into the underlying negative mood at the end of the week,” said Michael Hewson, chief market analyst at CMC Markets, in a note to clients.

Read: Despite stock gains, investors still doubt prospects for V-shaped recovery, says Morgan Stanley

Asian markets fell, reflecting fears any global economic recovery may stall out amid those climbing cases, with Tokyo also reporting an increase in infections. The China CSI 300 index /zigman2/quotes/210598128/delayed XX:000300 +1.49%  halted an eight-session winning streak, with a loss of 1.8%. The index has climbed 14% this month, driven in part by articles in government-backed newspapers cheering on the market. That has raised questions over whether China’s latest rally will collapse on itself like it did in 2015.

Some economic cheer came from Italy, which said May industrial production jumped 42.1%, while France also saw that its production rebounded strongly. The U.K. has announced it will allow the reopenings of gyms, tattoo parlors, and swimming pools.

Still, investors are increasingly facing up to the fact that “any economic recovery is unlikely to be V-shaped in nature, with a range of companies starting to announce thousands of job losses this week,” said Hewson.

“This month alone we’ve seen John Lewis, Boots, Burger King, Rolls-Royce, Airbus, Upper Crust, and Harrods, to name but a few, announce thousands of job losses, in addition to the cuts announced last month from the major airlines, energy and car companies which has pushed the total of jobs at risk up to well over 100,000,” he said.

Investors will begin to hear how companies have been holding up during COVID-19, with next week marking the start of second-quarter earnings season.

Among the gainers, technology stocks fed off U.S. strength in that sector, with STMicroelectronics /zigman2/quotes/203551318/delayed IT:STM -1.70%  rising 2.6%, and Infineon Technologies /zigman2/quotes/204995926/delayed DE:IFX -1.91%  rising 2%. ASML Holding /zigman2/quotes/206208657/delayed NL:ASML -1.54%  shares gained 2%.

A recovery for shares of oil companies helped Europe turn positive. Crude prices /zigman2/quotes/211629951/delayed CL.1 +0.02%  remained weak, but shares of BP /zigman2/quotes/207305210/composite BP -2.07%   /zigman2/quotes/202286639/delayed UK:BP -2.56%  and Royal Dutch Shell Group /zigman2/quotes/205095589/composite RDS.A -2.70%   /zigman2/quotes/206428183/delayed UK:RDSA -2.64%  rose around 0.5% each from a 1% drop earlier. The International Energy Agency boosted its forecast for 2020 oil demand, but also warned that the pandemic could hamper that view, Reuters reported .

/zigman2/quotes/210599654/delayed
XX : STOXX
368.05
-4.48 -1.20%
Volume: 0.00
Aug. 14, 2020 1:51p
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/zigman2/quotes/210223310/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 28.73
-0.17 -0.59%
Volume: 12,503
Aug. 13, 2020 3:32p
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/zigman2/quotes/210597958/delayed
FR : France: Euronext Paris
4,957.09
-85.29 -1.69%
Volume: 28,242
Aug. 14, 2020 1:51p
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/zigman2/quotes/210598409/delayed
UK : FTSE UK
6,089.07
-96.55 -1.56%
Volume: 222,576
Aug. 14, 2020 12:51p
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/zigman2/quotes/210407078/delayed
US : U.S.: CBOT
$ 27,740.00
-83.00 -0.30%
Volume: 40,661
Aug. 14, 2020 6:56a
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/210598065/realtime
US : Dow Jones Global
27,896.72
-80.12 -0.29%
Volume: 364.41M
Aug. 13, 2020 5:10p
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/zigman2/quotes/210599714/realtime
US : S&P US
3,373.43
-6.92 -0.20%
Volume: 1.96B
Aug. 13, 2020 5:10p
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/210598365/realtime
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
11,042.50
+30.27 +0.27%
Volume: 3.09M
Aug. 13, 2020 5:16p
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/zigman2/quotes/210598128/delayed
XX : China Securities Index
4,704.63
+68.92 +1.49%
Volume: 14.73B
Aug. 14, 2020 3:01p
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/zigman2/quotes/203551318/delayed
IT : Italy: Milan
24.88
-0.43 -1.70%
Volume: 1.10M
Aug. 14, 2020 1:45p
P/E Ratio
25.63
Dividend Yield
0.57%
Market Cap
€22.74 billion
Rev. per Employee
€178,260
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/zigman2/quotes/204995926/delayed
DE : Germany: Frankfurt
21.79
-0.43 -1.91%
Volume: 4,795
Aug. 14, 2020 1:48p
P/E Ratio
N/A
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
N/A
Rev. per Employee
€194,374
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/zigman2/quotes/206208657/delayed
NL : Netherlands: Euronext Amsterdam
313.90
-4.90 -1.54%
Volume: 238,915
Aug. 14, 2020 1:51p
P/E Ratio
45.48
Dividend Yield
0.76%
Market Cap
€132.40 billion
Rev. per Employee
€470,770
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/211629951/delayed
US : U.S.: Nymex
$ 42.25
+0.01 +0.02%
Volume: 67,686
Aug. 14, 2020 7:56a
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/207305210/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 23.45
-0.50 -2.07%
Volume: 10.19M
Aug. 13, 2020 4:00p
P/E Ratio
N/A
Dividend Yield
9.25%
Market Cap
$81.69 billion
Rev. per Employee
$4.03M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/202286639/delayed
UK : U.K.: London
293.50 p
-7.70 -2.56%
Volume: 10.22M
Aug. 14, 2020 12:51p
P/E Ratio
N/A
Dividend Yield
10.94%
Market Cap
£62.58 billion
Rev. per Employee
N/A
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/205095589/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 31.67
-0.88 -2.70%
Volume: 3.82M
Aug. 13, 2020 4:00p
P/E Ratio
N/A
Dividend Yield
6.76%
Market Cap
$66.63 billion
Rev. per Employee
$4.75M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/206428183/delayed
UK : U.K.: London
£ 1,171.40
-31.80 -2.64%
Volume: 1.97M
Aug. 14, 2020 12:51p
P/E Ratio
N/A
Dividend Yield
0.04%
Market Cap
£51.04 billion
Rev. per Employee
N/A
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Barbara Kollmeyer is an editor for MarketWatch in Madrid. Follow her on Twitter @bkollmeyer.

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