Trump threatens to derail the US impulses
LONDON – European markets opened higher Wednesday as investors hoped a Brexit trade deal could be reached amid concerns over approval of a long-belated US stimulus package to coronavirus.
The pan-European Stoxx 600 index rose 0.5% during morning trades, with auto stocks rising 1.6% to lead gains. Healthcare stocks bucked the trend, slipping 0.3%.
On Tuesday, EU chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier said the bloc was making a “final push” towards a Brexit trade deal with the UK, but disagreements persist over fishing rights. There were positive reports of the talks, with ITV’s Robert Peston claiming an agreement could be reached on Wednesday.
In the United States, President Donald Trump proposed Tuesday not to sign the $ 900 billion Covid Relief Act passed by Congress earlier this week. Trump called the measure an inappropriate “disgrace” and urged lawmakers to make a number of changes, including larger direct payments to individuals and families.
In Asia, stocks were higher despite Trump’s remarks. MSCI’s broadest index for stocks in the Asia-Pacific region outside of Japan rose 0.6%.
On Wall Street, stock futures changed little in overnight trading and largely rebounded from previous declines after Trump raised concerns about the new Covid bailout.
Back in Europe, France reopened its border with England on Wednesday. Passengers arriving at the border must have a negative coronavirus test result. This came after France imposed a ban on people and cargo from the UK amid concerns about the apparently fast-spreading strain of Covid, first detected in the south-east of England.
Concerns about the economic impact of the UK’s tough new lockdown measures to contain the spread of the new strain of coronavirus, as well as ongoing uncertainty about Brexit, have weighed on investor sentiment recently.
Travel and leisure stocks received a boost from news that France lifted its travel restrictions on Wednesday. British Airways’ parent company, IAG, rose 3% to lead the sector.
In terms of individual stocks, Daimler rose 3% to the top of the Stoxx 600 after a report in the Handelsblatt that the German automaker plans to list its truck business.
In the European benchmark, Games Workshop fell by almost 2%, while the food set provider HelloFresh fell by almost 3%.