LONDON — European stocks were muted on Wednesday morning as a global market rally falters following a spate of positive coronavirus vaccine news.
The pan-European Stoxx 600 inched 0.2% lower in early trade with industrials shedding 0.6% to lead losses while retail stocks added 0.2%.
The stall in global markets began on Tuesday, with European stocks closing lower despite the backdrop of more positive coronavirus vaccine news from Moderna, which announced on Monday that preliminary data showed its coronavirus vaccine was more than 94% effective at preventing Covid-19. That news had come after Pfizer and BioNTech’s vaccine candidate was found to be more than 90% effective.
Elsewhere, U.S. stock futures retreated Wednesday morning as investors digested the recent record rally in equities. Futures for the S&P 500 and Nasdaq-100 also edged down marginally.
Dampened sentiment comes as U.S. retail sales came in lower than expected for October as millions of Americans lost their unemployment benefits amid the surge in coronavirus cases. The U.S. 7-day average of daily new Covid-19 infections surpassed 150,000 for the first time on Monday, according to a CNBC analysis of Johns Hopkins data.
Meanwhile, Asia-Pacific markets were mixed in Wednesday trade as investors remain cautious as coronavirus cases continued to surge. Data from Japan showed exports did much better than expected in October, falling 0.2%, according to the Ministry of Finance. That’s compared to a 4.5% decline forecast by economists in a Reuters poll. It followed a 4.9% drop in September.
Exports were helped by a rise in demand for Japanese cars by China and the U.S., which drove up shipments, according to Reuters.
Maersk, the world’s largest container shipping firm, matched third-quarter profit expectations on Wednesday amid a stronger-than-expected pickup in demand. The company’s shares edged 1.2% lower in early trade.
There were no major share price moves early in the session, with Swedish heating technology firm Nibe Industrier adding 4.3% to lead gains on the back of a rise in operating profit, while British investment platform Hargreaves Lansdown fell 3.7%.
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– CNBC’s Weizhen Tan and Maggie Fitzgerald contributed to this market report.