European equity futures are little changed during the Asian session, which would imply a steady open for European indices. After a week of steady gains, it is only reasonable to expect some kind of consolidation as we head into the weekend.

The coronavirus tallies continue to rise, which could take the edge off risk appetite, while the nondescript ECB bulletin yesterday erred on the side of caution when it came to the economic outlook.

Coronavirus update

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Unconfirmed rumours are circulating that the city of Shenzen, just across the border from Hong Kong, is in lockdown due to the coronavirus. The number of global cases of the virus continues to rise, reaching 31,485 this morning, with 31,173 of them located in mainland China. The reported cases linked to the cruise liner off Japan jumped after more victims were diagnosed. Those numbers have been included in a classification of “others” since they are not directly linked to Japan. The Japan total remains at 25 with the “others” total at 61. The number of virus-linked deaths has hit 638, with still only two reported outside of the Chinese borders (Source: John Hopkins University).

Vietnam has estimated that the cost to tourism of the coronavirus outbreak would be $7.7 billion over the next three months, according to local press reports.

China’s trade data pending

China’s trade numbers for January are due anytime, with economists expecting a drop in both exports and imports due to the timing of the Lunar New Year break this year. Estimates suggest imports fell 6.0% y/y while exports slid 4.8%. As a result, the trade surplus is seen narrowing to 38.6 billion from $47.2 billion.

Nonfarm payrolls in focus

The US economy probably added 160,000 jobs in January, according to the latest survey of economists, more than the +145.000 recorded in December. Robust PMI data and an improvement in the employment index (up to 46.6 from 45.2) within the ISM manufacturing PMI might suggest the upside may be vulnerable this month, not forgetting the blowout in the ADP number last Wednesday. The unemployment rate is seen unchanged at 3.5% while average hourly earnings are expected to rise 0.3% from a month earlier, an acceleration from the +0.1% seen in December.

For the European session, the focus will be on German industrial production and trade data for December. The former is seen fall0.2% m/m while for the latter, both imports and exports are expected to show a rebound from the previous month, rising 0.2% and 0.5%, respectively.

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