Global stock markets and U.S. futures saw declines Friday after a resurgence of coronavirus infections in China and an increase in cases in Southeast Asia.
London and Frankfurt opened weakly and Shanghai, Hong Kong, and Tokyo declined.
Optimism about the launch of coronavirus vaccines was dented by a spike in infections in China, where the disease was thought to be under control. The Chinese government is currently testing millions of people in Beijing and other cities. Authorities have urged the public to avoid travel during the Lunar New Year vacation in February.
This development of events has raised some concerns among investors who, after a slow start to the global vaccine rollout, are debating how quickly economies can vaccinate the most vulnerable and start getting back to business as usual.
In early trade, the FTSE 100 in London fell 0.5 percent to 6,680.13 and the DAX in Frankfurt retreated 0.5 percent to 13,834.85. The CAC 40 in France lost 0.6 percent to 5,557.42.
On Wall Street, futures for the benchmark S&P 500 index and the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.5 percent.
On Thursday, the S&P 500 closed up less than 0.1% after a day of mixed trading. The Dow lost less than 0.1%.
The Nasdaq composite rose 0.6% to 13,530.91 after traders bid up shares of Big Tech, including Apple, Amazon, and Facebook.
In Asia, the Shanghai Composite index fell 0.4 percent to 3,606.75 and the Nikkei 225 in Tokyo fell 0.4 percent to 28,631.45. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng lost 1.6 percent to 29,447.85.
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