Stock markets were mixed on Wednesday, as strong corporate earnings and new devices from Apple failed to distract from the worsening picture on COVID-19 and US stimulus talks.
European stock markets opened close to flat on Wednesday morning, following a global slump for equities on Tuesday.
Markets around the world had fallen on Tuesday after two COVID-19 vaccine trials were paused. A lack of progress in US stimulus talks and rising COVID-19 cases around the world — leading to increased restrictions across Europe — also weighed on sentiment.
Michael Hewson, chief market analyst at CMC Markets, said on Wednesday morning there was a “sombre mood” among investors.
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The FTSE 100 (^FTSE) opened up 0.2% in London, while the DAX (^GDAXI) was flat in Frankfurt and the CAC 40 (^FCHI) fell 0.1% in Paris.
The FTSE 100 was boosted by strong earnings from Just Eat Takeaway (JET.L), which reported an ordering boom during lockdown. The stock rose over 5%.
Wall Street futures were trading higher. S&P 500 futures (ES=F) were pointing to a 0.3% rise at the open, while Dow Jones futures (YM=F) were up 0.1% and Nasdaq futures (NQ=F) were 0.5% higher.
In corporate news, Apple (AAPL) unveiled new devices at an event in California overnight. Bank of America (BAC) will continue earnings season with new financials published later today.
Stocks were weak in Asia overnight. Japan’s Nikkei (^N225) closed up 0.1%, but the Hong Kong Hang Seng (^HSI) was flat and the Shanghai Composite (000001.SS) fell 0.6%.