By Barbara Kollmeyer, MarketWatch
European stocks were set to break a four-session win streak on Friday, with upbeat economic data overshadowed by persistent worries about rising virus cases in the U.S. That is as a holiday Stateside was set to keep a lid on trading volumes.
The Stoxx Europe 600 index (STOXX:XX:SXXP) dipped 0.6% to 365.91, on the heels of a near 2% gain on Thursday. For the week, the index is poised for a 2.7% gain. Elsewhere, the German DAX 30 index (XEX:DX:DAX) fell 0.4%, while the French CAC 40 (PAR:FR:PX1) dropped 0.8% and the FTSE 100 index (FTSE:UK:UKX) fell 1.2% and 0.3%, respectively. Spain’s IBEX 35 (1058:XX:IBEX) stood out with a 1.1% drop.
China’s June Caixin services purchasing managers index rose to the highest level in more than a decade.
And the euro-area Market Services PMI for June came in at 48.3, jumping from May’s 30.5 and beating a forecast of 47.3. Dramatic gains were seen in Spain, where the services PMI jumped to 50.2 from 27.9. The eurozone June Composite PMI was 48.5, from 31.9 in May.
U.S. markets will be closed on Friday for the Independence Day holiday, keeping volumes pinned down in Europe. U.S. stock futures were barely higher, outside of a 0.2% gain for Nasdaq-100 futures (CME:NQ00) , after a record finish for technology stocks, though with more modest gains for the Dow (DOW:DJIA) and S&P 500 (S&P:SPX) on Thursday.
Despite news that the U.S. economy added back 4.8 million jobs in June, an alarming rise in coronavirus infections across 40 of 50 U.S. states — with the bulk in Florida — continues to worry investors. Another blow was dealt on Thursday with reports that final-stage trials of a Moderna (NAS:MRNA) coronavirus candidate were being delayed.
Also drawing attention, Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said in an interview on Thursday that the virus may be mutating to become more transmissible, with high viral loads.
“We don’t have a connection between whether an individual does worse with this or not. It just seems that the virus replicates better and may be more transmissible. But this is still at the stage of trying to confirm that,” he said.
U.S. stock futures were barely higher, outside of a 0.2% gain for Nasdaq-100 futures, after modest gains for those markets on Thursday.
Among stocks on the move, shares of Delivery Hero (FRA:DE:DHER) jumped nearly 5% on a positive trading update . The delivery platform said order numbers for the group in the second quarter jumped 94% from a year ago. Final numbers will be released on July 28.
Shares of Land Securities Group (LON:UK:LAND) rose 2.5% after the commercial-property developer and investment company said rental collection and footfall improved in June, and that it plans to restart paying dividends from November.
Banks were on the losing side, with BNP Paribas (PAR:FR:BNP) fell 1% and Banco Santander (NYS:SAN) (MCE:ES:SAN) shares fell 1.9%.
Energy names were also lower as oil prices (NYM:CL.1) fell about 1%. Shares of BP (NYS:BP) (LON:UK:BP) and Royal Dutch Shell (NYS:RDS.A) (LON:UK:RDSA) stock fell 1.4% each.