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European Stock Futures Mixed; German Virus Restrictions Extended

Stock MarketsJan 20, 2021 02:04AM ET
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© Reuters.

By Peter Nurse - European stock markets are seen opening mixed Wednesday, given the competing influences of tighter German restrictions to fight the coronavirus and hopes of increased U.S. fiscal stimulus ahead of the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden.

At 2:05 AM ET (0705 GMT), the DAX futures contract in Germany traded 0.2% lower, while CAC 40 futures in France climbed 0.2% and the FTSE 100 futures contract in the U.K. rose 0.2%.

Late Tuesday, Chancellor Angela Merkel and regional leaders agreed to tighten Germany’s coronavirus restrictions to check the spread of the disease. These moves included closing non-essential stores in hard-hit areas until Feb. 14, although stopped short of imposing a national curfew as in France.

There have been some signs that the incidence of coronavirus cases has been lessening in Europe, but the Dutch government warned Tuesday of the likelihood of additional measures on top of the current lockdown in place until at least Feb. 9, while the U.K. and Portugal reported record numbers of deaths.

In political news, Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte won a confidence vote in the upper house Senate on Tuesday, ensuring he stays in power after a junior partner quit his coalition last week.

In the U.S. overnight, Treasury Secretary nominee Janet Yellen defended the need for the $1.9 trillion fiscal relief package, proposed by Biden, urging lawmakers to “act big” in efforts to boost economic recovery from Covid-19.

Republican resistance has been building towards the plan, mainly over concerns about a higher debt burden, but Yellen’s comments helped to lift sentiment as she laid out the benefits of a big stimulus package.

Biden will take office later Wednesday under unprecedented security measures after the Jan. 6 assault on the Capitol.

There are a number of earnings and trading releases to digest Wednesday. ASML, the Dutch maker of chipmaking equipment, set the bar high by raising its dividend and launching a 6 billion euro buyback, in addition to posting a solid rise in profit and revenue in the fourth quarter.

Richemont (SIX:CFR), Burberry (LON:BRBY), WH Smith (LON:SMWH), J D Wetherspoon (LON:JDW) and Pearson (LON:PSON) are also all due to report, while December consumer inflation data for the euro zone are also due.

Oil prices pushed higher Wednesday, helped by expectations that Biden's stimulus plans will boost fuel demand.

U.S. crude inventory data due from the American Petroleum Institute will be in focus later Wednesday, a day later than usual due to Monday’s holiday.

U.S. crude futures futures traded 0.8% higher at $53.41 a barrel, while the international benchmark Brent contract rose 0.7% to $56.30. 

Elsewhere, gold futures rose 0.7% to $1,852.85/oz, while EUR/USD traded 0.2% higher at 1.2152.

European Stock Futures Mixed; German Virus Restrictions Extended

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perplexed76 .
perplexed76 . Jan 20, 2021 2:59AM ET
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Lie, i see optimism, i can see people smiling though respirators.
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