By Peter Nurse
Investing.com - European stock markets traded mixed early Friday, amid caution about the likelihood of additional stimulus for the region as new coronavirus case numbers continue to rise globally.
At 3:50 AM ET (0750 GMT), the DAX in Germany traded 0.1% higher, the CAC 40 in France fell 0.5% and the U.K.'s FTSE index was down 0.2%.
European Union leaders meet later Friday to seek agreement over a proposed recovery fund to help the countries hard hit by the coronavirus outbreak to rebuild.
The current 750-billion euro ($850 billion) proposal sees a split of 500 billion in grants and 250 billion in loans, which would mark a major step towards fiscal integration in Europe. This is likely to face opposition from some richer, mainly northern European nations, but has the backing of both Germany and France.
French President Emmanuel Macron said on Friday he was confident but cautious that the European Union would reach an agreement on this recovery plan, while Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte put the chances of a deal this weekend at less than 50%.
“We are not confident that an agreement will be reached this weekend, but we expect it to be reached before the European Commission starts its summer holidays in August,” said Danske Bank.
The European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde warned Thursday that further "ample stimulus" was needed to counter high uncertainty around efforts to combat the virus and mitigate the economic impact.
In corporate news, Daimler (DE:DAIGn) stock climbed 4% after the German car maker said Friday it saw a gradual recovery in orders in the latter part of the second quarter.
Ericsson (ST:ERICb) stock soared 8.1% after maintaining its full-year guidance. The company stands to benefit from the backlash in the West against its main competitor, Huawei.
Staying in Sweden, Saab (ST:SAABb) stock rose 2.6% after stating its second-quarter net profit rose 20%, as sales exceeded expectations and orders increased sharply.
This comes as the U.S. reported in a fresh daily record of new virus cases, of over 77,000, according to a Reuters tally, but there have also been surges in other major economies, such as Brazil and India.
Oil prices dropped Friday, weakening amid worries of what the increase in coronavirus cases in the U.S., the largest consumer of crude in the world, will mean for the recovery in demand for crude.
At 3:50 AM ET, U.S. crude futures traded 0.7% lower at $40.45 a barrel, while the international benchmark Brent contract fell 0.8% to $43.01.
Elsewhere, gold futures were up 0.1% at $1,801.20/oz, while EUR/USD was up 0.1% at 1.1387.