Germany and France are among the countries resuming the rollout of the AstraZeneca/University of Oxford Covid-19 vaccine Friday after British and European medicines regulators recommended it continue to be used.
European markets pulled back on Friday after a spike in bond yields reignited concerns about stock valuations, while a U.S. Federal Reserve decision not to extend a pandemic-era rule that had allowed banks to relax capital levels further hit risk assets.
The pan-European Stoxx 600 was down 1.1% during afternoon trade, with banks dropping 2.7% to lead losses as all sectors except utilities slid into the red.
U.S. stocks plunged at the open on Friday after the Fed declined to extend a rule expiring at the end of the month that relaxed the supplementary leverage ratio for banks during the pandemic.
European stocks began the day with a weak handover from Asia-Pacific, where shares mostly declined during Friday’s trade following Thursday’s sell-off stateside. Following its latest monetary policy meeting, the Bank of Japan announced a raft of measures that widened the range at which the 10-year Japanese government bond yield is allowed to fluctuate from the target level to between plus and minus 0.25%.
Oil prices are also in focus after a slump on Friday, as reports of new waves of coronavirus infections and further lockdown measures in Europe dampened the outlook for crude demand.
Germany and France are among the countries resuming the AstraZeneca/University of Oxford Covid-19 vaccine rollout Friday after British and European medicines regulators recommended it continue to be used following concerns over a small number of recipients developing blood clots.
On the data front, British consumer sentiment notched a one-year high in March, according to a GfK survey, with hopes for an imminent economic recovery growing, as the country seeks to emerge from nationwide lockdown measures in the coming months.
TeamViewer plunged 12% during afternoon deals after the German remote working software company cut its 2021 guidance in terms of individual share price movement.
ACCORDING TO DANISH MEDIA REPORTS, Danish IT consultancy Netcompany climbed 3% after securing a contract to develop Denmark’s coronavirus passport for use from May.
Yields Surge Again
U.S. stocks were mixed Thursday after the Dow’s record close on Wednesday, as a spike in bond yields continued to weigh on the technology sector.
The benchmark U.S. 10-year Treasury yield surged another 10 basis points on Thursday, at one point hitting a 14-month high past the 1.75% mark. Rising yields are fueling fears for equity valuations and leading investors to sell high-flying stocks.
Back in Europe, the Bank of England kept interest rates and its bond buying program unchanged on Thursday, following the Fed’s lead with a cautious tone on future rate hikes prospects.
Earnings on Thursday morning came from Generali, Hugo Boss, Rolls-Royce, WPP, Morrisons and John Lewis Partnership.
German pharmaceutical company Sartorius saw its shares jump 8.2% after raising its 2021 guidance, with spin-off Sartorius Stedim Biotech gaining 6.2%.
At the bottom of the European blue chip index, Swiss online pharmacy Zur Rose Group fell 12.6% after its full-year earnings report.