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European Stock Futures Higher; Vaccination Optimism Helps

Stock MarketsFeb 16, 2021 02:16AM ET
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By Peter Nurse - European stock markets are seen opening higher Tuesday, extending the recent rally on expectations of improved economic growth, thanks to continuous fiscal and monetary support as well as global Covid-19 vaccine rollouts.

At 2:10 AM ET (0710 GMT), the DAX futures contract in Germany traded 0.1% higher, CAC 40 futures in France climbed 0.1%, and the FTSE 100 futures contract in the U.K. rose 0.2%.

European markets are set to receive a positive handover from Asia, as world equities extend their bull run for a 12th consecutive session. 

Successful rollouts of Covid-19 vaccines in many countries, with the U.K. leading the way among the developed world, have raised hopes of a relatively quick economic recovery as restrictions on business and social life are lifted.

Additionally, U.S. President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion stimulus package continues to work its way through Congress, in a further boost to market sentiment.

However, despite this optimism, the immediate economic picture in Europe remains challenging. 

Passenger-car sales fell 28% across Germany, the U.K., France, Italy and Spain, Europe’s five biggest markets, in January as lockdowns shut down dealerships and customers shied away from large purchases. 

The region’s fourth-quarter GDP release is due later in the session, but most eyes will be on the German ZEW Economic Sentiment index for February as a more current gauge of consumer confidence.

In corporate news, BHP Group (LON:BHPB) will be in focus after the world’s largest listed miner reported its best first-half profit in seven years and declared a record interim dividend, helped by strong demand for iron ore from China.

Dutch conglomerate DSM (AS:DSMN) will also be in the spotlight after its fourth quarter net profit was more than halved after booking higher one-off costs.

Oil prices pushed higher Tuesday, as the severe cold spell in the U.S. resulted in heavy demand for power as well as disrupting supplies in Texas, the biggest crude producing state.

The deep freeze halted Texas oil wells and refineries on Monday and forced restrictions on natural gas and crude pipeline operators, resulting in blackouts throughout the state.

U.S. crude futures traded 1.2% higher at $60.20 a barrel, while the international benchmark Brent contract rose 0.4% to $63.53, both contracts not far removed from their highest levels since January last year.

Elsewhere, gold futures fell 0.1% to $1,822.80/oz, while EUR/USD traded 0.1% higher at 1.2140.


European Stock Futures Higher; Vaccination Optimism Helps

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