LONDON (Reuters) – European stocks were mixed on Friday morning, closing the last full trading week of the year, with investors still on the lookout for a Brexit trade deal and a US stimulus package .
Stocks in London edged up, supported by a weaker dollar. Frankfurt barely won and Paris slipped.
“The uncertainty around what will happen in the next few days makes investors a little nervous as we have two factors that are likely to be resolved over the next few days: the EU-UK deal and the stimulus package. American, “said Michael Hewson, head of the market. analyst at CMC Markets.
Dutch healthcare tech company Philips rose 2% after agreeing to buy US cardiac diagnostics and monitoring company BioTelemetry in a deal worth $ 2.8 billion.
The more pessimistic tone of the protracted negotiations between Britain and the European Union weakened the pound, just days before the United Kingdom left the Union’s single market on December 31.
The EU has warned that there are only hours left to strike a deal, undermining UK midcaps focused on the domestic market as the prospect of commercial tariffs for the new year looms.
“The EU-UK talks may well go to the end, as neither side wants to be seen giving in too easily. It all depends on the optics on both sides, so it might take a little longer than most people are comfortable with, ”Hewson said.
The British pound slipped 0.29% to $ 1.3546, after the two-and-a-half-year high it reached on Thursday.
Among today’s economic data, UK retail sales fell 3.8% for the month of November, when a four-week lockdown in England closed stores selling non-essential goods to the public.
A separate indicator of UK consumer confidence rose the most in eight years this month, boosted by the country’s coronavirus vaccination program.
WALL STREET RECORDS TUMBLE
The prevailing underlying mood in global equities remained optimistic. The three major U.S. stock indexes, the Dow, the Nasdaq and the S & P500, hit all-time highs on Thursday on optimism over a coronavirus stimulus bill.
US S&P 500 futures were stable.
The markets were also encouraged by the fact that the United States was ready to ship 5.9 million doses of a new coronavirus vaccine developed by Moderna and which is on the verge of obtaining regulatory approval.
“Even though the current state of the epidemic is so grim, the markets are assuming that the vaccines will help the United States achieve herd immunity next year and that everyone will be dancing in the spring, with the explosion of the pent-up demand for consumption, ”said Kozo Koide, chief economist at Asset Management One.
Asian stocks slipped on Friday after Reuters said the United States is expected to add dozens of Chinese companies, including the country’s largest chipmaker, SMIC, to a commercial blacklist later today.
The MSCI’s largest Asia-Pacific stock index outside of Japan fell 0.4% from Thursday’s record. Mainland Chinese stocks fell 0.35% while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng fell 0.67%.
The Japanese Nikkei dipped 0.2%, facing strong resistance around 27,000.
The dollar index stood at 89.91, after slipping below 90 for the first time in two and a half years.
The euro traded at $ 1.2260, after hitting a two-and-a-half-year high of $ 1.2273 on Thursday.
Bitcoin rose 1.9% to $ 23,256 after breaking $ 20,000 on Wednesday, triggering a new wave of buying.
Spot gold rose to $ 1,879.6 an ounce, from a one-month high of $ 1,896.2 the previous day. Copper hit its highest levels in almost eight years.
Oil hit a nine-month high before slowing in Asia on Friday. Brent futures traded at $ 51.34 a barrel, down 0.3% on the day, but not far from Thursday’s high of $ 51.90 after rising 2.7% to ‘now this week.