European stocks reflect on coronavirus, oil prices

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European markets are heading towards a mixed open Tuesday as falling oil prices remain a focal point for investors.

London’s FTSE is seen 19 points higher at 5,851, Germany’s DAX is seen 31 points higher at 10,666 and France’s CAC 40 is seen 3 points higher at 4,497 while Italy’s FTSE MIB is seen opening 39 points lower at 17,229, according to IG.

Global oil markets are focused on oil prices that continue to fall as the coronavirus has demand global demand for oil, sending prices tumbling.

Oil prices slid 11% during overnight trading, extending Monday’s nearly 25% decline amid ongoing fears that storage around the world is rapidly filling.

West Texas Intermediate, the U.S. benchmark, slid 11.03%, or $1.41, to trade at $11.37 a barrel, while international benchmark Brent crude traded 2.85% lower at $19.42 a barrel. On Monday, WTI fell 24.56%, or $4.16, to settle at $12.78 a barrel. Brent crude fell 6.76% to settle at $19.99 a barrel.

Asia stocks have also been reacting to the oil price declines overnight with markets remaining flat. 

In corporate news, HSBC, Europe’s largest bank, said on Tuesday that it’s pretax profit fell 48% year over year to $3.229 billion in the first quarter of 2020, while revenue dropped by 5% to $13.686 billion.

The coronavirus pandemic remains the key news feature for markets. More than 3 million people are now reported to have been infected by the coronavirus around the world and over 210,800 have died, according to Johns Hopkins University.  Follow our live updates on the pandemic here.

Earnings in Europe are expected from BP, Santander, UBS, Novartis and Carrefour, among others on Tuesday. On the data front, French consumer confidence data for April is due, as well as Spain’s first-quarter unemployment rate.

– Pippa Stevens, Eustance Huang and Yen Nee Lee contributed reporting to this story.

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