European stock markets are expected to open lower Friday, weighed by more losses in Asia overnight and ahead of important growth data and more corporate earnings.
European markets have received a negative handover from Asia, with the Hang Seng index in Hong Kong dropping around 2% as the tech sector resumed its selloff amid concerns over excessive Chinese government regulatory interference.
The Hang Seng slumped more than 8% in two days of heavy selling early this week before bouncing back 3% in Thursday’s session.
Also weighing on sentiment Friday was a disappointing earnings report from Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) after the close on Wall Street Thursday. The e-commerce giant missed quarterly revenue expectations for the first time in three years while providing weak guidance for the current quarter.
Back in Europe, BNP Paribas (OTC:BNPQY) will be in the spotlight Friday after the French bank reported a 26% rise in net income in the second quarter and agreed to pay an additional dividend, helped by a rebound of domestic retail banking activity and a reduction in provisions for bad loans. U.K. bank NatWest Group (LON:NWG) also used its newly-regained freedom to pay a dividend, and announced a 750 million-pound buyback program.
Renault (PA:RENA) posted a half-year net profit, a sharp improvement from this time last year, and the French carmaker said it expected to post a full-year 2021 profit despite a worsening semiconductor chip shortage and rising raw materials costs.
Air France KLM (PA:AIRF) reported a jump in second-quarter revenue of 133% with its net loss narrowing, enabling it to predict a return to profitability in the current quarter as vaccination and an easing of travel restrictions improves bookings.
In economic news, French gross domestic product rose 0.9% in the three months ending in June, an improvement from the drop of 0.1% the previous quarter despite a strict lockdown in April to contain a resurgence of Covid cases.
Elsewhere, oil prices edged lower Friday, but are set to end the second consecutive week higher as investors remained confident about the global demand recovery.