European Markets Lack Momentum Despite Positive Vaccine News

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European stocks traded slightly higher on Wednesday amid more positive vaccine news in the region, CNBC reported.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 index opened just above the flatline but rose to trade up 0.13%. London’s FTSE 100 index also opened higher after the coronavirus vaccine developed by the University of Oxford and AstraZeneca was authorized for emergency use in the U.K.

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.

European markets are following 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 little changed in overnight trading on Tuesday as the market tried to reclaim record highs. Contracts tied to the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 36 points. S&P 500 futures gained 0.12%, while Nasdaq 100 futures were flat.

The move came after 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.

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