Daily Briefing: Black eye Friday reality check

Julien Ponthus
·2-min read
The spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in London

By Julien Ponthus

European futures are cautiously lower, which matches the cautious mood of 2020's Black Eye Friday: far from the wild office parties and nights out, most of Europe is under tight restrictions.

The last Friday before Christmas is typically one of the busiest of the year for the British police and emergency services as revellers flock en masse to city centres for a last round of drinks with friends and colleagues.

But this year most of the partying has been on Wall Street, where stocks have reached new records, high on hopes of more U.S. fiscal stimulus.

In Europe, expectations for a post-Brexit trade deal finally being struck have also propped up markets to a large extent.

Black Eye Friday may prove to be a painful reminder for investors as COVID-19 continues to cause damage, with the death toll and economic disruption from the pandemic's second wave mounting.

News that the U.S. was set to add dozens of Chinese companies to a trade blacklist also dampened the mood and sparked fears of a renewed trade war between both countries.

The mood in Asia overnight has not been quite as exuberant as in the U.S. and most blue chips benchmarks have or are set to close slightly in the red after having a great run this week.

There is a similar pattern for oil prices, which are easing but within touching distance of nine-month highs.

However, signs of a more cautious mood is evident on foreign exchange markets, with the safe-haven dollar making some gains against the euro.

Then again, it's not surprising to see traders cutting positions after a week-long beating for the greenback.

The pound is also slightly lower after crossing $1.36 on Thursday as hopes for a Brexit trade deal rose.

Developments that could provide more direction to markets on Tuesday:

- Germany Ifo Business Climate New

- Euro Zone Current Account

- United Kingdom CBI Trends

(Julien Ponthus)