PARIS (Reuters) – European stock markets opened this Friday for the last session of 2021 are expected to decline in the wake of Wall Street, at the end of a favorable year for global equities despite the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to the first indications available, the Parisian CAC 40 could lose 0.42% at the opening and the FTSE in London would fall by 0.39%.
The German markets among others will remain closed, the London Stock Exchange will close its doors at 12:30 GMT and those of Euronext at 13:05 GMT.
European markets should end 2021 with a positive performance: the CAC 40 is currently up 29.2%, the Footsie 14.6%, the European Stoxx 600 index 22.5% while the Dax in Frankfurt gained 15.8%.
Investors are confident in the economic outlook, hoping that the explosion of COVID-19 cases globally will not cause further generalized containment, under the effect of vaccination and an Omicron variant of the coronavirus, admittedly very contagious but less dangerous than other strains according to several studies.
The looming year 2022 may not be as favorable for equities as a number of central banks, led by the United States, are expected to reduce their measures to support the economy in a context of high inflation.
Bottlenecks in supply chains, corporate profits, the aftermath of the pandemic and the mid-term elections in the United States are all themes that will focus the attention of investors next year.
A WALL STREET
The New York Stock Exchange ended lower on Thursday, with the S & P-500 and Dow Jones hitting highs before slipping into the red, as data indicated a surprise drop in jobless claims in the United States suggesting that the Omicron variant of the coronavirus has so far not slowed the economy.
The Dow Jones index fell 0.25% to 36,398.08 points after peaking at 36,679.44, the S & P-500 lost 0.30% to 4,778.73 points after a high at 4,808.93 and the Nasdaq Composite fell 0.16% to 15,741.56 points.
Despite their decline on Thursday, the main Wall Street indices should end 2021 with a sharp increase over one year. The S & P-500 should thus have risen by more than 27%, the Nasdaq by about 23% and the Dow Jones by nearly 20%.
Futures contracts show an opening decline of around 0.2%.
The Tokyo Stock Exchange has remained closed. The Nikkei index closed 2021 with a gain of 4.9%, driven by fiscal and monetary stimulus and optimism about the post-pandemic recovery.
In China, the CSI 300 gained 0.4% and the Shanghai SSE Composite index gained 0.59%, driven by new energy and real estate stocks.
Activity in the industrial and service sectors edged up in December, according to official data, despite disruption from COVID-19.
The greenback is unchanged against a basket of benchmark currencies after having benefited slightly the day before from the drop in jobless claims in the United States last week.
It grew by nearly 6.7% over the year as a whole, helped by expectations of rate hikes in the United States.
For its part, the euro is stable around 1.131 dollar and is heading for a decline of around 7.2%.
Oil prices are down very slightly but should show their biggest increase in 12 years over the whole year thanks to the global economic recovery and the modest increase in production by OPEC +.
Brent is at $ 79.52 per barrel and US light crude (West Texas Intermediate, WTI) is down 0.1% to $ 76.91.
The first is heading towards a gain of 53% over the year and the second of 58%, which would represent their best annual performance since 2009.
Gold is expected to experience its biggest annual decline since 2015, around 4%, as the economic rebound reduces demand for the precious metal.
NO MAJOR ECONOMIC INDICATOR ON TODAY’S AGENDA
(Laetitia Volga, edited by)