- Global markets will be reacting to news Thursday that the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the U.S. surpassed 200,000 Wednesday, doubling since Friday.
European stocks turned negative Thursday morning as markets react to developments related to the coronavirus pandemic in the U.S. and around the world.
The pan-European Stoxx 600 reversed early gains to fall 0.5% below the flatline, with oil and gas stocks jumping 4.3% while financial services and travel stocks fell 1.9% to lead losses.
Global markets are reacting to news Thursday that the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the U.S. surpassed 200,000 Wednesday, doubling since Friday.
President Donald Trump has warned that the country could see an even greater surge in cases over the next few weeks. White House officials are projecting 100,000 to 240,000 deaths in the U.S., with coronavirus fatalities peaking over the next two weeks. The country is rolling out broader testing as outbreaks pop up in more and more cities.
U.S. stock futures rose in overnight trading and pointed to gains at the open on Thursday, as markets try to rebound after kicking off the second quarter in the red.
Stocks posted steep losses on Wednesday to begin the second quarter, as the coronavirus outbreak continues to wreak havoc on global markets.
In Asia, stocks traded mixed on Thursday afternoon as global markets continue their rocky start to the second quarter.
European data Thursday includes German trade numbers and euro zone producer prices for February.
Energy sector bounce
The energy sector was the standout performer in early trade. Norwegian oil exploration company Aker BP saw its shares jump 13.6% to lead the Stoxx 600, while compatriot TGS-Nopec climbed 12.4%. Lundin Petroleum and Subsea 7 and Royal Dutch Shell all gained more than 8%.
At the other end of the European benchmark, British recruitment giant Hays slid 8% after announcing an emergency £200 million ($248.2 million) equity raise and cancelling its dividend, as the coronavirus pandemic continues to hit demand.
— CNBC's Eustance Huang and Pippa Stevens contributed to this market report.