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EU Stocks Fall amid Election Uncertainty and COVID-19 Fears

European stocks markets weakened on Friday, with investors still braced for the result of the US presidential election. At the same time, mounting coronavirus cases are threatening the region’s nascent recovery.

At 3:50 AM ET (0850 GMT), the DAX in Germany traded 0.5% lower. Moreover, the CAC 40 in France lost 0.4%, while the U.K.’s FTSE index fell 0.2%.

On Friday, the US presidential election 2020 result remains uncertain, although Democrat Joe Biden has strengthened his chances of winning. He was steadily taking away Republican President Donald Trump’s early lead in a pair of crucial swing states. 

On Thursday, two of Trump’s legal challenges to stop vote-counting were thrown out by state courts in Michigan and Georgia. All his other actions have failed to have any impact so far. 

Trump repeated unsubstantiated claims about voter fraud during his first public appearance since election night. He also vowed to continue legal actions.

The Surging Coronavirus

Throughout most of Europe the coronavirus pandemic continues unchecked. Spain and Italy both recorded their highest daily death tolls in the second wave on Thursday.

Italian regions entered partial lockdowns. They have joined France, the U.K. and Germany in shutting down vast areas of their economies.

This raises the possibility that Europe could suffer from a double dip recession. On Friday, German industrial output climbed by less than anticipated in September. This was due to the health crisis holding back activity.

Furthermore, the other major economic data release on Friday comes from across the Atlantic.The October U.S. nonfarm payrolls data is expected to show a further slowdown in the labor market recovery.

Stocks on the Move

Stocks market reports Allianz stock gained 2.1% after it posted a rise in net profit. This was despite revenue falling in Q3. 

Swiss luxury conglomerate Richemont stock soared 10% after seeing some positive trends in its fiscal Q2. This was largely due to the rebound in sales in China.

On the opposite side, Aveva stock fell 2% after it said it intends to raise 2.84 billion pounds ($3.73 billion). It will be through a rights issue to partly fund the acquisition of  OSIsoft, a SoftBank-backed peer.

Meanwhile, oil prices fell Friday, under pressure from signs of overproduction within OPEC.  Additionally, a more aggressive discounting by Saudi Arabia in Asia.

U.S. crude futures traded 1.2% lower at $38.34 a barrel. The international benchmark Brent contract fell 1.3% to $40.42. These contracts are still on track for their first weekly gain in four.

In precious metals, gold futures rose 0.1% to $1,949.30/oz. But the yellow metal remained on course for its biggest weekly gain since July. The EUR/USD traded 0.2% higher at 1.1848.

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