On Friday european markets are set to open lower as market jitters persist over a retail trading frenzy that has rocked Wall Street. Britain’s FTSE 100 is seen around 65 points lower at 6,461, Germany’s DAX is expected to fall by around 134 points to 13,532, and France’s CAC 40 is set to open around 56 points lower at 5,455, according to IG data.
European stocks are set for a weak handover from Asia-Pacific, where shares broadly declined on Friday with South Korea’s Kospi index falling 3% to lead losses among major markets. Stateside, stock futures dropped sharply in the early hours of Friday as a volatile week looks set to continue on Wall Street. U.S. markets rallied on Thursday after the Dow and S&P on Wednesday posted their worst sell-off for three months.
Sentiment has been jolted by a surge in speculative trading from retail investors, and several e-brokers took steps to curb the deliberate buying of heavily-shorted names on Thursday after a week of huge and seemingly synthetic moves in unfavored names like GameStop, spurred by Reddit group WallStreetBets.
However, GameStop and AMC entertainment shares were surging once again in after hours trading after Robinhood said it will allow some limited buying of restricted shares on Friday. In other news, Novavax said on Thursday that its Covid-19 vaccine is 89.3% effective in a trial conducted in the U.K., and almost as effective at combating the new variant first discovered in the U.K.
Tensions between vaccine maker AstraZeneca and the European Union continued on Thursday, with the bloc warning drug companies on Thursday that it would wield all possible legal power to prevent exports unless they committed to supplying inoculations as promised.
In corporate news, Daimler beat 2020 full-year profit expectations on Thursday on the back of a strong fourth quarter, with earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) coming in at 6.6 billion euros ($7.99 billion) versus the 5.25 billion euros expected by analysts.
The German automaker also struck an optimistic tone in its 2021 guidance. New Commerzbank CEO Manfred Knof plans to cut a further 10,000 jobs and close hundreds of branches, Germany’s second-largest lender announced Thursday.