By Peter Nurse
Investing.com – European stock markets edged up on Friday as investors were bullish on future growth, although they kept a cautious eye on ongoing Brexit negotiations.
At 4:05 am ET (0905 GMT), the German market was up 0.3%, France’s was up 0.3%, while the UK index outperformed, up 0.6 %.
The President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, said Thursday evening that “big differences” remained between the two parties, and that “bridging them will be very difficult”.
A spokesman for British Prime Minister Boris Johnson also warned that it was “very likely” that there would be no deal unless the bloc changed its position “substantially”.
Talks are progressing behind the scenes, and such negative language could be expected as a negotiating tactic, but time is running out for both sides to reach a deal to cover roughly $ 1 trillion in annual trade at the risk of facing to tariffs and quotas at the end. of the year.
This potential disruption to the European economy as a whole comes as the region continues to suffer from the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.
That said, Friday’s economic data was reasonably positive. The much watched rose to 92.1 in December from 90.7 the previous month. The UK also advanced in December, helped by the launch of the country’s immunization program, as it fell 3.8% in November. It was the biggest drop since the first foreclosure in April, but it was still better than the expected 4.2% drop.
In addition, an advisory committee in the United States recommended the approval of Moderna (NASDAQ 🙂 Covid-19 Thursday night, paving the way for a second vaccine to enter the fight against the pandemic.
In corporate news, the British Airways owner’s IAG (LON 🙂 stock fell 0.9% after a report he agreed to buy Spanish airline Air Europa for € 500m ($ 612.55 million).
Vivendi (PA 🙂 rose 1.6% after the French conglomerate agreed to sell another 10% stake in Universal Music Group to Tencent Holdings (OTC :), the latest in a series of music hooks which underscored the value of the income stream of rights holders.
Dutch healthcare technology company Philips (AS 🙂 rose 2.3% after agreeing to buy US cardiac diagnostics and monitoring company BioTelemetry (NASDAQ 🙂 in an agreement of a worth $ 2.8 billion.
Oil prices have slipped, retreating from nine-month highs seen in the previous session, as traders waited for Congress to approve a new Covid-19 relief plan.
futures contracts traded 0.1% down to $ 48.34 a barrel, while the international benchmark contract fell 0.2% to $ 51.39. Both benchmarks hit their highest levels since early March Thursday.
Elsewhere, it fell 0.3% to $ 1,885.50 / oz, while it traded 0.1% to 1.2260.
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