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European stock futures drop as U.S., China spar over virus origin

Stock MarketsMay 04, 2020 08:10
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© Reuters. The German share price index DAX graph is pictured at the stock exchange in Frankfurt

(Reuters) - European stock index futures tumbled on Monday, as investors returned from a May Day break to a fresh spat between the United States and China over the coronavirus crisis.

Euro STOXX 50 futures (STXEc1) fell 2.9% by 0644 GMT, suggesting a downbeat start in May after the STOXX 600 (STOXX) recorded a 6% gain in April.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Sunday there was "a significant amount of evidence" that the new coronavirus emerged from a Chinese laboratory, ratcheting up tensions with the country after last week's warning from President Donald Trump of retaliatory measures against China over the pandemic.

China's Global Times said in an editorial that Pompeo was "bluffing," calling on the United States to present the evidence.

"Sentiment continues to be dented by geopolitics as the blame game ramps up," Mirabaud Securities' Mark Taylor wrote in a morning note.

"There has also be an air of optimism running ahead of itself despite continued reopening of various economies and Gilead's positive drug news."

European stocks climbed to a near two-month high last week as countries including Italy and Germany moved to restart their economies, while U.S. firm Gilead Sciences' (O:GILD) antiviral drug, remdesivir, was granted authorization by U.S. regulators for emergency use against COVID-19.

However, data released on Monday showed Asia's factory activity was ravaged in April, with a series of Purchasing Managers' indexes (PMIs) from IHS Markit falling deeper into contraction. Data out of Europe is due later in the day.

German stock futures (FDXc1) were down 2.8%, while France's CAC 40 (FCEc1) fell 3.2%. FTSE futures (FFIc1) dropped 0.2%.

European stock futures drop as U.S., China spar over virus origin
 

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Comments (2)
David Hawley
David Hawley May 04, 2020 9:02
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I don't think so. Americans have got wise to who actually pays the tariffs. I can just see Trump on top of a mountain, beating his chest with both fists saying...I'm tariff man. The rest us will be thinking, go on then. If Trump declared he was the biggest liar in the world, no one would believe him
David Hawley
David Hawley May 04, 2020 8:24
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Investors are a gullible lot. They believe every little thing they hear. Pompeo says there is overwhelming evidence that China developed the virus in a lab. and the only thing he can offer as proof is that China wouldn't let American scientists into China. Would America let Chinese scientists into the US? Trump talks tariffs again, but we all know this is brave talk from a loser. He only hastily agreed to a trade pack with China because the election is looming. He's not likely to start another one now
Raphael Gad
Raphael Gad May 04, 2020 8:24
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Not trivial that he won't begin another one now, the game has changed and now it may be a good political strategy to play strongly against China because of the public opinion.
 
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