LONDON – European equities rallied Thursday, following overnight gains in the Asia-Pacific markets following a rise in US equity futures.
The pan-European Stoxx 600 gained 0.5% early in trading, while basic resources added 1.2% to drive profits as all sectors and major stock markets entered positive ground.
Momentum for European equities comes overnight after a similarly optimistic session in Asia Pacific, boosted by US trading; Asian stocks rallied especially on Thursday after the S&P 500 rose to a record high on Wednesday.
US stock futures also traded higher in premarket trading, suggesting Wall Street could extend gains that pushed the S&P 500 to record levels this week.
Investors seemed pleased during Wednesday’s session by the Fed’s latest minutes, which showed officials plan to keep the pace of asset purchases the same for some time as the central bank is committed to stable prices and maximum employment opportunities.
Meanwhile, President Joe Biden spoke from Washington on Wednesday about his administration’s $ 2 trillion infrastructure plan, which includes an increase in the corporate tax rate to 28%, and noted that he is ready to negotiate the proposed tax increase.
European markets will be boosted by UK and European drug regulatory announcements on Wednesday about the AstraZeneca / University of Oxford Covid vaccine.
Both regulators said that although a link between the vaccine and very rare blood clotting disorders was possible, the benefits of getting the injection still outweigh the risks. The UK said it would give a different Covid vaccine to young people under 30 in Britain out of caution.
UBS will hold its annual general meeting on Thursday, while on data, Germany’s industrial orders are due for February.
Initially, there were few significant price movements, with Johnson Matthey’s 4.4% rise leading the Stoxx 600 after the British chemical company posted a promising outlook for 2021.
At the bottom of the European blue chip index, British insurer Direct Line Group fell 4.6%.
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