LONDON — European stocks are expected to open in mixed territory on Tuesday, with investors focusing on an emerging battle between vaccine maker AstraZeneca and the EU, and on political uncertainty in Italy.
London’s FTSE is seen opening 12 points higher at 6,643, Germany’s DAX up 12 points at 13,647, France’s CAC 40 flat at 5,467 and Italy’s FTSE MIB 85 points lower at 21,606, according to IG.
Shares of British-Swedish drugmaker AstraZeneca will be watched closely on Tuesday after the EU has accused it of not doing enough to resolve a dispute over how many doses it will be able to supply to the EU. The AstraZeneca vaccine has not yet been approved by the European Medicines Agency but is expected to be imminent. AstraZeneca has said last week that it is facing production problems.
In other coronavirus news, Moderna said Monday it’s accelerating work on a Covid-19 booster shot for the recently discovered variant in South Africa. The firm’s researchers said its current coronavirus vaccine appears to work against the two highly transmissible strains found in the U.K. and South Africa.
Italian shares will be watched closely on Tuesday as a new political crisis has come to the fore. Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte is expected to resign Tuesday after a morning cabinet meeting, and will seek to lead a new mandate. The move comes after weeks of tensions between Conte and Matteo Renzi, the head of a junior coalition party in the government.
Elsewhere, U.S. stock futures fell slightly Monday evening as Wall Street geared up for the heart of corporate earnings seasons; General Electric, Verizon and Johnson & Johnson are slated to report results before the bell, while tech giant Microsoft will announce its fiscal second-quarter earnings after the bell. In Asia-Pacific, stocks declined in Tuesday morning trade.
Earnings come from LVMH, Novartis and UBS Tuesday. Data releases include U.K. employment figures for November.
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