European stocks are expected to open higher on Friday after the World Health Organization (WHO) said the deadly Chinese coronavirus was not a “global emergency” yet.
Britain’s FTSE 100 is seen around 51 points higher at 7,559, Germany’s DAX is set to climb around 115 points to 13,503 and France’s CAC 40 is expected to rise by around 43 points to 6,015, according to IG data.
Following a torrid week for stocks on the back of fears over the spread of the new coronavirus, which has killed 25 people in China and infected over 800 more, equity investors seem to be taking some heart from the WHO’s reluctance to declare the epidemic of international concern.
Stocks in Asia edged slightly higher on Friday, with the MSCI Asia ex-Japan index climbing 0.13% while Japan’s Nikkei also added 0.13%.
Back in Europe, investors are digesting the European Central Bank’s launch of a major policy review on Thursday, which will assess the calculation and feasibility of the central bank’s key inflation target and methods deployed to achieve it.
The euro and German bund yields sank on Thursday after ECB President Christine Lagarde struck a slightly more dovish tone than markets were expecting in a press conference, after the ECB left monetary policy unchanged at its first meeting of 2020.
In corporate news, the U.K. competition regulator is scrutinizing Takeaway.com‘s proposed takeover of rival Just Eat, which may delay the finalization of the deal to create one of the world’s largest takeout delivery firms, according to Reuters.
German media company Axel Springer revealed on Thursday that it plans to delist from the Frankfurt Stock Exchange following its takeover by U.S. private equity firm KKR.
Earnings remain on the agenda, with Swedish telecoms giant Ericsson raising its full-year dividend before the bell on Friday, and reporting quarterly net profit of 4.43 billion Swedish kroner ($465 million) compared to a loss of 6.55 billion kroner in the same period last year.