European stocks opened low on Monday as investors continue to assess the economic impact of the coronavirus outbreak. For instance, the STOXX600 index, an index of European stocks fell 0.3% by midday London time.
On the other hand, the dollar strengthened further dragging the euro down to its lowest in months. Investors are encouraged by last week’s payroll data and optimism that the US economy will remain resilient. Furthermore, there are stonger sentiments that President Trump may win his second term creating a positive outlook for the year.
Elsewhere, people across China reported back to work after an extended Lunar New Year break as Chinese authorities eased some of the restrictions imposed to counter spread of coronavirus. Apple’s iPhone maker Foxconn got approvals to resume operations with workers told to wear masks and undergo temperature checks. Across mainland China, the National Health Commission said coronavirus infections have hit 40,171. Death toll from the virus hit 908 surpassing the SARS outbreak in 2002/03.
Oil prices fluctuated on weaker demand from China and traders awaiting Russia to join OPEC+ to demand for further output cuts. Furthemore, low demand from China has raised concerns about excess supply.