(Sharecast News) – European stocks were still higher on Wednesday as investors awaited the inauguration of Joe Biden as the next US President and were cheered by prospects of a large stimulus package for the American economy.
The pan-European STOXX 600 index extended morning gains and was up 0.55% by lunchtime. Italy’s FTSE MIB was also up after Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte won a confidence vote in the upper house Senate on Tuesday, allowing him to remain in office after a junior partner quit his coalition last week.
US Dow Jones futures were up 53 points. Treasury Secretary nominee Janet Yellen overnight called for big fiscal spending to kick-start help the pandemic-stricken economy.
Luxury stocks were in favour after Richemont posted a 5% increase in quarterly sales, led by strong growth at its jewellery brands in Asia Pacific and the Middle East. The stock rose 4.8% in the morning, but settled back for a 1.94% gain.
Education publisher Pearson led the risers, with shares in the company up 7.39% as it said sales and profit for the full year were in line with expectations despite the additional impact of Covid-19 in the fourth quarter.
Britain’s Burberry jumped were up 1.8% after an initial morning surge as the high-end fashion retailer released a positive earnings update, although it warned of a Brexit hit on sales to non-EU customers after a VAT refund scheme ended at the start of January.
Germany’s Hugo Boss added 4.6% after Mike Ashley-led Frasers said it boosted its stake in the company.
Shares in Nordic telecom operator Telia rose 3.89% as the firm reported better-than-anticipated operational cash flow in 2020.