By Peter Nurse
Investing.com – European stock markets pushed higher Friday, helped by positive corporate news from index heavyweights Daimler (OTC:) and LVMH (PA:), but overall sentiment remains weak with investors anxious over the economic impact of the second wave of the Covid-19 virus.
At 3:35 AM ET (0735 GMT), the in Germany traded 0.2% higher, the in France rose 1.2%, while the U.K.’s index climbed 1.2%.
European stock indices have rebounded to a degree after posting their largest losses in more than three weeks on Thursday. Helping that bounce Friday has been some strong earnings from European corporate heavyweights.
Daimler stock rose 4.2% after the German carmaker posted forecast-beating third-quarter results late Thursday, and Volvo (ST:) stock rose 1.5% after the Swedish truck maker also impressed in the quarter.
More broadly, new car registrations in the European Union increased in September, their first rise in year-on-year terms in 2020.
There were also gains elsewhere. LVMH (PA:) stock surged 6.8% after the luxury fashion conglomerate reported strong growth at its biggest brands in the third quarter, while Remy Cointreau (PA:) stock gained 1% after acquiring a majority stake in Champagne house J. de Telmont.
That said, Europe seems to be losing the fight to keep their economies open as the Covid-19 virus spreads. Starting this weekend, Londoners will be banned from mixing with other households, and residents of Paris and other major French cities face a curfew for four weeks.
Also weighing is the idea of Brexit turning disorderly after the EU expressed concerns by a lack of progress in the talks between the two parties and called on London to make concessions. U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson is expected to give Britain’s response later Friday.
Oil prices weakened Friday amid continued concerns about stagnating demand as a spike in Covid-19 cases in Europe and the United States hits economic activity in two of the world’s biggest fuel consuming regions.
At the same time, a meeting Thursday of a technical committee of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and allied oil producers, a group known as OPEC+, did little to allay fears that these major producers will move ahead with plans to ease their supply cuts despite the tepid demand.
OPEC+ is set to reduce its current supply cuts of 7.7 million barrels per day by 2 million barrels a day in January.
Data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration released on Thursday showed a 3.818 million-barrel draw in last week, but this did little to alleviate the gloom.
futures traded 0.8% lower at $40.65 a barrel, while the international benchmark contract fell 0.8% to $42.81.
Elsewhere, traded up 0.1% at $1,911.65/oz, while traded flat at $1.1709 after a sharp fall on Thursday.
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