European stocks and U.S. equity futures struggled near the flat line on Wednesday, as investor worries continued to simmer over rising coronavirus cases worldwide and the effect on economies in coming months.
The Stoxx Europe 600 SXXP,
U.S. equity futures YM00,
Cases of the virus have been surging on both sides of the Atlantic, though European countries may be starting to get a handle on it, as restrictive measures have been in place for weeks in many places. Measures are beginning to appear across several U.S. states.
European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde said Tuesday that upbeat vaccine news would not fundamentally change the central banks plan to add stimulus.
“I don’t want to downplay the very good news that the vaccines were, but I think that as a central bank, we have to be mindful of not just the short term and the news impact, we have to be mindful of the overall situation,” Lagarde told the Bloomberg New Economy Forum .
One risk, she noted, was if “consumers, investors and employers do not regard the pandemic as a one-off, this V-shape that we all aspired to, but as something that will recur over the course of time and as a result would lead them to completely change their behavior.”
Meanwhlie, the European Automobile Manufacturers Association reported a 7.8% drop in October sales, after a small gain in September. Auto sales struggled amid new restrictions to stop the virus across the region.
U.K. data showed a rise in annual consumer-price inflation for October, a gain that was boosted by higher clothing prices.
Among companies on the move, shares of RSA Insurance RSA,
Shares of Compagnie Financiere Richemont CFR,
Air France-KLM shares fell over 3% after French newspaper Le Monde reported on Tuesday that the struggling airline is in talks to raise another €6 billion from two government stakeholders and investors.
Croda International CRDA,
A.P. Moeller-Maersk MAERSK.B,