The growth outlook in Europe has weakened with the third wave of COVID-19 infections leading to further mobility restrictions. This further delayed economic recovery.
Germany recorded the biggest daily rise in confirmed coronavirus cases since Jan. 22 on Thursday. In terms of population, it is the largest EU country.
France said it would put eight regions back into a tighter form of lockdown for a month. This includes the Ile de France region around Paris, while much of Italy is already shut down.
On Friday, European stock markets were down. A new rise in COVID-19 cases and associated lockdowns weakened global economic recovery hopes.
The DAX in Germany traded 0.3% lower at 3:55 AM ET (0855 GMT). The CAC 40 in France lost 0.6%, and the U.K.’s FTSE index shed 0.6%.
The EU drugs regulator on Thursday said that the benefits of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine outweighed the risks. However, the suspension of this drug’s use has been another factor slowing an already sluggish vaccination rollout across the EU.
In addition, the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite index closed 3% lower on Thursday. A spike in U.S. bond yields prompted investors to sell these stocks with very high valuations.
AU Stocks Ended Lower; S&P/ASX 200 Down 0.56%
Meanwhile, at the close in Sydney, Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 dropped 0.56%.
On Friday, Australian stocks were lower after the close. Leading shares lower were losses in the Energy, Industrials, and Metals & Mining sectors.
The session’s best performers on the S&P/ASX 200 were Northern Star Resources Ltd. They gained 4.17% or 0.390 points to trade at 9.750 at the close.
Moreover, Shopping Centres Australasia Group rose 3.77% or 0.090 points to end at 2.480. Altium Ltd edged up 3.65% or 0.98 points to 27.80 in late trade.
The session’s worst performers were Silver Lake Resources Ltd. They lost 4.44% or 0.075 points to trade at 1.615 at the close.
Perseus Mining Ltd fell 3.98% or 0.050 points to end at 1.205. Newcrest Mining Ltd edged down 3.43% or 0.860 points to 24.200.
On the Sydney Stock Exchange, falling stocks exceeded advancing ones by 722 to 550, and 377 ended unchanged.
The S&P/ASX 200 VIX was up 9.95% to 13.754.
Meanwhile, on Friday, the yield on benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury notes stood at 1.69%. On late Thursday, it spiked to 1.75%, the highest since early 2020.
This came a day after the Federal Reserve raised its growth and inflation forecasts. However, the U.S central bank stated it would maintain its very accommodative monetary policies through 2023.