European stocks were mixed on Wednesday amid more positive vaccine news in the region.
The pan-European Stoxx 600 index was trading up 0.06% by early afternoon deals, with sectors and major bourses pointing in opposite directions.
The announcement marks another step in the global battle against the pandemic and will allow the U.K. to greatly expand its Covid-19 immunization program started in December. So far, the Pfizer–BioNTech vaccine has been given to 600,000 people in the U.K., according to government statistics. Shares of AstraZeneca were up 0.3% Wednesday.
European markets are bucking a lackluster trend seen in their global counterparts Wednesday; Stocks in Asia-Pacific were mixed in trade overnight after major indexes on Wall Street snapped their multi-day winning streaks on Tuesday. Meanwhile, the dollar weakened against other major currencies.
China’s 2019 GDP growth was revised downward to 6.0%, according to a statement released Wednesday by the country’s National Bureau of Statistics. That compared against a pre-revision 2019 growth rate of 6.1%.
Meanwhile, U.S. stock index futures were seen slightly higher in overnight trading as the market tried to reclaim record highs. Contracts tied to the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained almost 100 points, while S&P 500 futures and Nasdaq 100 futures were both slightly higher.
The major averages closed lower on Tuesday, giving up early gains that pushed stocks to record highs at the opening bell. Lawmakers in Washington continue to disagree over direct payments to Americans that are part of an economic stimulus package amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell blocked Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer’s effort to fast-track the bill, passed by the House late Monday, that would increase checks to $2,000 from $600. Stimulus payments could go out as early as Tuesday evening, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said.
President Donald Trump has supported higher payments, and on Tuesday said in a tweet that the move should be approved “ASAP. $600 IS NOT ENOUGH!”
Lawmakers in the U.K. are to vote Wednesday on whether to approve the post-Brexit trade deal reached by negotiators on Christmas Eve. Prime Minister Boris Johnson called on parliament to back the deal.
There are no major earnings or data releases Wednesday.
– CNBC’s Eustance Huang and Pippa Stevens contributed to this market report.