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European markets set for higher open despite coronavirus and sharp drop in oil prices

European stocks are poised for a positive open Monday as global coronavirus developments remain in focus, along with a sharp fall in U.S. oil prices.

London’s FTSE is seen 59 points higher at 5,822, the German DAX is seen opening 137 points higher at 10,733, France’s CAC 40 is seen 57 points higher at 4,537 and Italy’s FTSE MIB is seen 132 points higher at 17,105, according to IG.

The positive open expected for European markets comes as their counterparts in Asia were mixed in Monday trade, after China cut its benchmark lending rate and  U.S. crude futures for May plunged more than 15% to $ 15.44 a barrel.

Traders continue to fret over a slump in oil demand due to the coronavirus pandemic, with one analyst describing the situation stateside to CNBC as “quite dire.”

Coronavirus developments also remain in focus with more than 2.3 million infected worldwide and 164,000 deaths globally, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. Stocks globally had gotten a boost late last week after a report said patients with severe virus symptoms were quickly recovering after using remdesivir, a Gilead Sciences drug.

Earnings to be released in Europe on Monday will come from Philips and Vivendi, while on the data front, the euro zone releases trade and current account figures for February.

— CNBC’s Eustance Huang contributed reporting to this story.

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