European stocks posted early losses after most major indexes in Asia ended the session down. Japan’s Nikkei 225 (N225) dropped 4.5%, making it the worst performer in the region. The Shanghai Composite (SHCOMP) shed 0.6% and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng (HSI) gave up 1.2%. The FTSE 100 (UKX) opened down 2.6% in London, while losses on Germany’s DAX (DAX) and France’s CAC 40 (CAC40) approached 2%. Futures of Brent crude, the global benchmark, dropped by more than 3% to $26.54 as fears about oversupply and weaker demand caused by coronavirus continued to weigh on oil prices. US stock futures pointed lower ahead of the release of US jobless claims at 8:30 a.m. ET, a report that will give investors their first sense of how much damage the pandemic is doing to the American labor market. The consensus estimate among economists is that 1 million people filed for unemployment benefits in the week ended March 21, which would be the highest ever recorded, but some believe the number could be much higher. “This is expected to be just the start of a streak of terrible economic data to come in the following weeks,” Hussein Sayed, chief market strategist at FXTM, wrote in a research note. Dow (INDU) futures were were down 345 points, or 1.6%. S&P 500 (SPX) futures dipped 2% and Nasdaq futures shed 1.7%. US stocks closed higher on Wednesday, notching their first back-to-back gains in weeks as lawmakers made progress on a $2 trillion package that will provide some relief to American workers and companies. The package was approved by the Senate on Wednesday. It now goes to the House of Representatives before landing on the desk of President Donald Trump. Looking ahead, analysts at Barclays expect markets to remain under pressure despite “Herculean efforts” by
US stock futures point to further recovery after second strong day for Wall Street
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