* U.S. stock futures edge up as Arizona called for Biden
* World markets flat to weaker but head for weekly gain
* European shares open weaker, China shares tumble on U.S.
investment restrictions, bond defaults
LONDON, Nov 13 (Reuters) - Global shares flat-lined on
Friday as rising U.S. and European COVID-19 hospitalisations
tempered the euphoria over a promising vaccine, though Wall
Street looked set for a firmer open on news president-elect Joe
Biden was set to cement his election win.
U.S. futures rose 0.5% by 0.830 GMT after Edison
Research projected Biden to capture the battleground state of
Arizona, further weakening President Donald Trump's efforts to
overturn the results of the Nov. 3 election.
However, the pan-European Stoxx 50 was down 0.2%,
just above its opening levels. MSCI's all-country equity index
"You had the news overnight in the U.S. on COVID, which is
not that good and that ... provides an opportunity for investors
to book some profit post-Pfizer and post-U.S. elections," said
Francois Savary, chief investment officer at Swiss wealth
manager Prime Partners.
Thursday saw Wall Street end lower on news of rising
coronavirus infections and as investors weighed up the schedule
for rolling out effective vaccine. Several U.S. states have
introduced stricter social distancing rules following reports of
In Europe, too, the number of hospitalisations are now
higher than at the peak of the first wave and officials said
measures to control infections must continue.
U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said on Thursday
that progress in developing a coronavirus vaccine was welcome
news but near-term economic risks remain, underscoring the
likely need for additional government stimulus.
World stocks are up 1.3% for the week, however. They reached
record highs on Monday when pharma giant Pfizer announced its
vaccine had been effective in 90% of cases. Russia followed up
by reporting its vaccine trial, too, had shown promise.
European markets lost 0.1% to 0.7%, but the STOXX
pan-regional index is set for a second week of big gains. It's
up 5% so far this week as the vaccine news induces more
investors to buy shares in banks and travel firms.
Earlier, Chinese blue-chips lost 1% after the
Trump administration said it would ban U.S. investments in firms
linked to the Chinese military. A series of high-profile bond
defaults by state-owned enterprises also weighed.
Japan's Nikkei 225 fell 0.57%.
Some investors saw the pullback as a buying opportunity.
"My view is this is the dark just before dawn," said Michael
Frazis, portfolio manager at Frazis Capital Partners in Sydney.
"You've got the second wave of coronavirus, new sets of
shutdowns, clear problems around the world, travel dropping off
again ... But at the same time, we have the strongest possible
evidence that we do have a vaccine."
One sticking point for markets has been the inability of
U.S. lawmakers to agree an adequate spending package. The need
for this stimulus was highlighted by Thursday data showing a
slower pace of jobs recovery and weak inflation.
While Democrats in Congress urged negotiations over a
multi-trillion-dollar stimulus plan, top Republicans rejected
that as too expensive.
U.S. Treasury yields slid further, with 10-year yields down
around one basis point at 0.87%, well off the seven-and-a-half
month high of 0.98% hit on Monday.
The yield curve, a gauge of growth and inflation
expectations, has flattened, too.
"That (snapback in bond yields) got a further nudge from the
softer-than-expected U.S. inflation data for October which were
released yesterday, and which tally with a weaker economic
reality," ING Bank analysts said.
Germany's 10-year yield slipped 1.5 bps at -0.54%, moving
off this week's two-month highs.
Oil prices remained on track for a second week of gains, but
the COVID-19 surge and higher U.S. crude stockpiles pushed
Brent futures 1% lower to $43 a barrel
(Reporting by Sujata Rao in London and Andrew Galbraith in
Shanghai; additional reporting by Tom Arnold in London; editing
by Larry King)