European stocks closed higher on Tuesday after rallying on Wall Street in the previous session.
The pan-European Stoxx 600 index ended up 0.76%, with most sectors and major stock markets in positive territory.
Sentiment in Europe was bolstered by a rally in US stocks Monday after President Donald Trump signed a $ 900 billion coronavirus relief plan into law; the measure includes a direct payment of $ 600 to most Americans.
Trump had previously demanded a direct payment of $ 2,000 a few days before the signing. The House voted Monday to increase the second round of federal direct payments to $ 2,000, leaving the matter to the GOP-controlled Senate. US equity futures rose early Tuesday morning after the rally.
The positive sentiment in Europe comes after a Brexit trade deal was reached between the EU and the UK on Christmas Eve. London’s FTSE 100 index rose nearly 2% on Tuesday. On Monday, the 27 ambassadors of EU member countries officially approved the deal, which will be implemented on January 1.
Drugmaker AstraZeneca was among the best on the FTSE index on Tuesday afternoon with its shares up 3.8%. The company’s coronavirus vaccine is expected to be approved for use in the UK this week.
The Financial Times reported on Sunday that government officials confirmed that the UK medicines regulator, the Medicines and Health Products Regulatory Agency, will imminently approve the vaccine, saying the announcement could come as early as Tuesday.
Meanwhile, Asia-Pacific stocks were mixed in Tuesday’s trading after the Wall Street gains. In Japan, the Nikkei 225 gained 2.66% – trading at levels not seen since August 1990, according to data from Refinitiv. Shares of the Fast Retailing index heavyweight and conglomerate Softbank Group gained more than 4% each. The Topix index rose 1.74%.
There are no major results or data releases on Tuesday.
– CNBC’s Fred Imbert and Eustance Huang contributed to this market report.