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European markets look to higher open as coronavirus remains in focus

European markets look to higher open as coronavirus remains in focus

European markets are expected to open higher Wednesday as investors continue to watch the spread of the coronavirus, oil prices and geopolitics.

London’s FTSE index is seen 27 points higher at the open at 6,004, Germany’s DAX is expected to open 89 points higher at 10,588 and France’s CAC 40 index up 52 points at 4,589 while Italy’s FTSE MIB is seen 155 points lower at 4,689, according to IG.

European stocks are expected to buck the more negative trade seen in Asia on Wednesday with the global coronavirus outbreak still at the forefront of investor concerns.  The disease has infected at least 113,851 and more than 4,000 people have died so far, according to the latest figures from the World Health Organization.

U.S. stock futures fell sharply on Tuesday night, pointing to another volatile session on Wall Street following a massive rally. That came amid hopes that the U.S. government will move forward with fiscal stimulus to curb an economic slowdown from the coronavirus spread.

A White House official told CNBC on Tuesday that President Donald Trump pitched a 0% payroll tax rate for the rest of 2020, but the timing of such policies being implemented remains uncertain.

Meanwhile in the U.K., the government’s new finance minister will be presenting the annual budget. Rishi Sunak, who has only been in office for four weeks, will deliver the budget at 12:30 p.m. London time. Economic uncertainty is expected to limit the scope of the budget when it comes to the Conservative Party’s election commitments, while it is expected to contain measures to mitigate the economic impact of the coronavirus.

Oil prices climbed for a second day on Wednesday, bolstered by hopes that U.S. producers will cut output after oil producing group OPEC and its non-member allies led by Russia failed to agree on an extension or deeper production cut last week.

Earnings are due from Adidas, Balfour Beatty and Prudential. On the data front, Spanish retail sales and U.K. industrial production figures are due Wednesday.