European stocks rose on Wednesday in hopes that a Brexit trade deal can finally be reached and France eased its travel ban on the UK.
The first profits came despite US President Donald Trump threatening to derail the US coronavirus aid package.
The Europe-wide Stoxx 600
was up 0.3% in early trading and continued its recovery from Monday sell-off while the German DAX
rose by 0.5% and the French CAC
US stock futures
showed slightly higher ahead of the Open and bounced back from previous losses after Trump threatened to sink the congressional coronavirus aid package. Trump criticized the bill, which offers most Americans a check for $ 600, in a video on Twitter. He called on Congress to amend the bill and "increase the ridiculously low $ 600 to $ 2,000 or $ 4,000 for a couple," suggesting it may not sign it.
In Europe, renewed optimism about a Brexit trade deal helped stocks when EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier said both sides would make a "final push" for an agreement. Some reports suggest this could come on Wednesday. The positive signs helped the British pound
by 0.4% to USD 1.3416, but sent the internationally exposed FTSE 100
0.1% lower. The spread of the new variant in the UK and fears about the economic impact of tighter restrictions also kept the index under pressure.
There was some encouragement, however, when France reopened its border with the UK after thousands of trucks got stuck in Dover after a ban was put in place to prevent the new variety from entering Europe. Drivers are now allowed to enter France by tunnel or ferry if they test negative for the virus. The army was called in to conduct the tests on stranded drivers.
Vaccines came back into focus amid the new strain of COVID-19 detected in a growing number of countries including Italy, South Africa and Australia. BioNTech
General manager Uğur Şahin said further testing was needed to determine if the company's vaccine was developed in partnership with Pfizer
would protect against the new burden. He added that he was confident it would be.
The U.S. government is on the verge of an agreement to purchase tens of millions of additional doses of the Pfizer vaccine, The Associated Press reported.
According to reports, Daimler shares rose by 2.5%. The luxury automaker plans to list its truck division on the stock exchange. It could go public at the end of 2021, the Handelsblatt reported, citing company sources.