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EU Stocks Stay Largely Unchanged; Focus on Coronavirus Developments

European stock markets opened largely unchanged Wednesday. Investors are monitoring developments on the coronavirus and the U.S. political turbulence.

Germany’s DAX futures contract and France’s CAC 40 futures traded less than 0.1% higher. This was at 2:05 AM ET (0705 GMT). Moreover, the FTSE 100 futures contract in the U.K. rose by 0.1%.

On Tuesday, the European economy’s near-term outlook darkened following a report of a possible lockdown extension. The report suggested that German Chancellor Angela Merkel wanted to extend the current lockdown through the end of March. 

Over the last few weeks, global equity markets have posted strong gains. They saw a boost by low-interest rates and monetary and fiscal stimulus from central banks and governments alike. Moreover, the idea that vaccinations were coming.

The U.S. House of Representatives, later Wednesday, is set to vote to impeach President Donald Trump. This was over the recent turmoil in the U.S. Capitol. 

On Tuesday, Vice President Mike Pence resisted pressure to invoke the 25th Amendment to remove Trump. He said it would not be in the country’s best interest. Even after Trump leaves office on Jan. 20, an impeachment trial could proceed. 

E.U. Expects Trading Updates

In Europe, traders expect updates from retailers Sainsbury’s, Persimmon, and ASOS. Telefonica, a Spanish telecom company, has agreed to sell its mobile phone masts in Europe and Latin America. 

American Towers, a U.S.-based telecom infrastructure operator, is the buyer. That will be for 7.7 billion euros ($9.41 billion) in cash. 

Also due are the November industrial production figures for the eurozone. Its economy is poised to shrink again at the start of this year with the coronavirus’s resurgence. It is plunging the region into a double-dip recession.

In energy commodities, oil prices continued to climb Wednesday. Industry data showing a larger-than-expected draw in U.S. inventories boosted the prices. U.S. measures to contain the latest surge in the pandemic had less effect on demand than those in Europe.

Elsewhere, India stocks were mixed after the close on Wednesday. Leading shares higher were gains in the Public Sector Undertakings, Auto and Oil & Gas sectors. On the other hand, losses in the Consumer Durables, Healthcare and Real Estate sectors led shares lower.

At the close in NSE, the Nifty 50 was up 0.01% to hit a new all-time high. On the other hand, the BSE Sensex 30 index was down 0.05%.

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