European stocks touched record highs Friday as traders digested whether China’s coronavirus epidemic would cause long-lasting injury to the global economy.
Europe’s broad Euro clawed up 0.1% to follow Asian markets higher in uneven early trading, even as indexes in Paris and London fell by 0.2%.
In both cases, corporate outcomes weighed, with a 5% plunge for AstraZeneca dragging London shares down as the drug manufacturer stated it could take a hit from the novel coronavirus epidemic
France’s Renault, in the meantime, plunged 4.2% on its first loss in a decade as it set a lower operating margin target for this year, a crunch year for its planned reboot alongside partner Nissan after a shame surrounding former chief Carlos Ghosn.
The coronavirus outbreak confirmed no sign of peaking, with health agencies reporting over 5,000 new cases.
China’s National Health Commission (NHC) stated it had registered 121 new deaths on the mainland on February 13, taking the accumulated sum infected to 63,851 individuals.
Yet some traders are betting that the economic influence of the outbreak won’t be long-lasting, discovering succors in a spread past China that is not as fast as feared.
Others have latched on to the possibility of additional central bank stimulus measures in response to any downturn. China’s central bank, for instance, has already elevated liquidity into its economy.
But there is by no means an agreement that such a sunny take is guaranteed. Some traders stated they had been dialing down bets on equities amid the doubt over what economic toll the coronavirus would take.
MSCI’s world equity index was also flat.