Elliot Smith, Holly Ellyatt
LONDON — European stocks closed higher Wednesday, continuing to climb as hopes rise over a forthcoming coronavirus vaccine.
The pan-European Stoxx 600 provisionally closed up by around 1.2%, with utilities adding 2.6% to lead gains as most sectors and major bourses climbed.
European markets are following the positive momentum seen earlier this week, after Pfizer and BioNTech’s announcement that their Covid-19 vaccine was more than 90% effective in preventing the disease.
U.S. equity futures were higher in pre-market trading on Wednesday, amid this week’s rotation out of technology stocks into cyclical names that hinge upon a recovering economy. Dow futures added 222 points. S&P 500 futures and Nasdaq 100 futures both traded in positive territory.
Meanwhile, stocks in Asia-Pacific were mixed in Wednesday trade, with tech shares in the region monitored following overnight declines for the sector on Wall Street.
Hong Kong-listed shares of Chinese tech firms were among the hardest hit in Wednesday trade after China’s State Administration for Market Regulation announced on Tuesday a set of draft guidelines aimed at curbing monopolistic behavior on internet platforms.
Corporate earnings remain a key driver of individual share price action, with German IT house Bechtle jumping more than 12% in early trade on the back of strong third-quarter results.
Dutch bank ABN Amro fell 5.3% after beating profit expectations, but missing net interest income projections and offering cautious forward guidance.
At the bottom of the Stoxx 600, mall operator URW dropped more than 8%.
- CNBC’s Maggie Fitzgerald and Eustance Huang contributed to this market report.
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