* A look at the day ahead from emerging markets chief correspondent Karin Strohecker. The views expressed are her own.
LONDON, May 12 (Reuters) - Markets torn between enthusiasm over easing lockdowns and fears over a second wave of infections have seen the latter cast shadows for a second straight session as infections emerge again in Wuhan, the Chinese city where the pandemic originated.
News of fresh clusters in China and South Korea and the R-rate crawling back above the 1 threshold in Germany cast some doubt over hopes of a swift V-shaped recovery.
European equities got a sombre lead from Asia where Hong Kong slipped 1.4% while indexes in Japan and South Korea also suffered. The dollar is clinging to recent gains, also benefiting from Fed officials downplaying the prospect of following the ECB and BoJ into negative rates, while fixed income markets in Europe hovered broadly flat ahead of bond sales in German and the Netherlands.
The ECB's asset buying also remains in focus, after data on Monday showed it had conducted its largest weekly PEPP purchases yet last week. The Fed announced late on Monday it would start buying shares in bond market ETFs on Tuesday, making use of yet another tool to improve the functionality of markets, which have seen substantial volatility in recent weeks.
So far, central banks have unveiled an estimated $15 trillion in stimulus to shield their economies from the coronavirus pandemic – equating to nearly a fifth of global GDP last year – with GDP data for Britain due out on Wednesday and Germany and the eurozone on Friday set to provide more evidence of the economic toll the crisis has taken.
Another cloud on the horizon is rekindled tension between Washington and Beijing, with Australia also in the mix. U.S. President Donald Trump said on Monday he is “not interested” in renegotiating the Phase 1 trade deal despite reports of discontent from China. The latter suspended imports from abattoirs in Australia amid escalating tensions, which hit the Australian dollar.
Yet while European stock markets opened lower, bourses in Frankfurt, Paris and London swiftly rose to trade in the black, despite another batch of bad corporate news curbing gains. The most obvious display of a hit to profits and sales is found in travel-related industries with duty-free retailer Dufry reporting sales collapsing 94% in April as travel curbs remained in place in most of the Swiss airport retailer's locations. Spanish travel booking group Amadeus published a 57.5% slump in first-quarter adjusted net profit.
Highlighting how difficult it will be to resume operations, Ryanair said it would recommend passengers wear face masks when it reopens some routes in July and require them to ask crew to use the toilet. Plane parts maker FACC predicted significant demand and production restrictions while French transport infrastructure company Alstom warned of a hit to results. In Germany, warnings of financial hits were reported from a spectrum of industries: Deutsche Post, Thyssenkrupp, Allianz and E.ON.
It’s not all grim though on the corporate front: Danish drugmaker Lundbeck beat Q1 sales expectations, French telco Iliad said Q1 sales rose 6.9% and Logitech, maker of webcams and keyboards, got a sales boost from more people working from home. Shares in ProSiebenSat.1 are up over 3% in early Frankfurt trading after U.S. private equity house KKR acquired a stake of 5.2% in the German broadcaster.
U.S. futures point to a 0.3% fall on Wall Street.
In commodity markets, oil prices were modestly boosted by an unexpected commitment from Saudi Arabia to deepen production cuts in June.
Bitcoin recovered after four days of declines after going through a technical adjustment that reduced the rate at which new coins are created. (Editing by Peter Graff)