By Barbara Kollmeyer, Market Watch–
European equities shook off early losses to inch higher on Wednesday, while U.S. stock futures also rose, as investors weighed up earnings news and concerns over the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Stoxx Europe 600 index SXXP, -0.04% inched up 0.2%, after snapping a three-session win streak on Tuesday with a 0.6% decline. The German DAX DAX, -0.09% and the French CAC 40 PX1, -0.17% rose 0.1%. The euro EURUSD was steady.
The FTSE 100 UKX, -0.02% rose 0.4%, getting a boost from Brexit worries that were sending the pound GBPUSD, 0.22% lower earlier. Sterling flatted out to $1.2927 ahead of Thursday’s deadline set by the U.K. and the European Union for Brexit negotiations.
On firmer footing were U.S. stock futures ES00, 0.01% YM00, 0.11%, up around 0.3% across the board, including Nasdaq-100 futures NQ00, -0.03%. Stocks finished lower on Tuesday after some U.S. drugmakers reported setbacks for their COVID-19 vaccine candidates.
Coronavirus concerns and stalled talks in Congress for another stimulus package have overshadowed earnings news, which continues on Wednesday, with financials Goldman Sachs GS, -1.54% and Bank of America BAC, -2.84% reporting.
In Europe, shares of travel-related stocks were under pressure as England’s new three-tier COVID-19 restrictions
In European earnings news, shares of ASML Holding ASML, -1.13% ASML, +1.53% fell over 2% after the Dutch maker of semiconductor equipment reported a sharp rise in third-quarter net profit, but cautioned of uncertainties ahead due to the macroeconomic environment.
Just Eat Takeaway TKWY, 4.93% shares climbed 4% . The food-delivery service’s third-quarter order growth expanded further to 46.1% and its investment program appears to be paying off, said Giles Thorne, equity analyst at Jefferies.