By Peter Nurse
Investing.com - European stock markets are set to edge higher at the open Monday, amid cautious optimism after U.S. authorities signed off a new potential Covid-19 treatment over the weekend.
At 2:10 AM ET (0610 GMT), the DAX futures contract in Germany traded 0.6% higher, the FTSE 100 futures contract in the U.K. rose 0.5%, while CAC 40 futures in France climbed 0.3%.
The U.S. Food and Drugs Administrations on Sunday said that it had issued ‘emergency use approval’ for the use of blood plasma from recovered patients as a treatment option for certain patients suffering from the effects of the Covid-19 virus.
Sentiment was also boosted by a Financial Times report that the U.S. administration is considering by-passing normal U.S. regulatory standards to fast-track an experimental coronavirus vaccine from the U.K. for use in America ahead of the presidential election.
This comes as the global death toll from the coronavirus surpassed 800,000 over the weekend, with the U.S., Brazil, Mexico and India leading the rise in fatalities.
Aside from movements surrounding the coronavirus, the main focus this week is likely be a keenly anticipated address by Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell at the Jackson Hole symposium on Thursday, with investors looking for more guidance on the U.S. monetary policy outlook.
Turning back to Europe, the economic calendar looks bare Monday, while in corporate news Novartis (SIX:NOVN) could be in focus after the Swiss pharma giant said its potential treatment for advanced melanoma disappointed in a trial.
Oil prices edged higher Monday, as storms shut down more than half the Gulf of Mexico's oil production.
Hurricane Marco and tropical storm Laura wrought havoc in the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico, leading to over 58% of offshore oil production in the region being shut down.
However, the uncertainty surrounding the Covid-19 virus and the impact it will have on global growth continue to weigh on the crude demand outlook.
U.S. crude futures traded 0.1% higher at $42.38 a barrel, while the international benchmark Brent contract rose 0.2% to $45.00.
Elsewhere, gold futures fell 0.2% to $1,942.30/oz, continuing a second consecutive week of losses. EUR/USD traded 0.1% higher at 1.1803.