(Sharecast News) – European stocks were holding gains on Wednesday as oil and bank stocks led the way with all eyes on a potential clean sweep for the Democrats in the Georgia US senate runoffs.
The pan-European Stoxx 600 index was up 0.8%, while Britain’s FTSE 100 shrugged off the latest national lockdown and soared 2.38%.
Eurozone services December PMsI showed negative readings with Italy reporting 39.7, compared with the 45.3 that economists were predicting. A reading below 50 implies a contraction.
The readings from France, Germany, and the UK were 49.1, 47 and 49.4 respectively, all improvements on November.
On Wall Street, tech-heavy Nasdaq was on track to tumble 2% at the open on fears a Democrat-controlled senate could approve curbs on the influence of big tech firms under US President-elect Joe Biden.
“From a short-term perspective, expectations of a sharp rise in financial stimulus once Biden takes office should lessen the economic hardship associated with the coronavirus. However, while we are likely to see a rise in direct payments, a decline in Nasdaq futures does highlight the feeling that Biden will be keen to lessen the influence of big tech going forward,” said IG analyst,” Joshua Mahoney.
In equity news, BP, Royal Dutch Shell and Total were all higher as crude prices hit their highest since February 2020 following Saudi Arabia’s pledge to cut output in a meeting with allied producers.
Bank stocks were also on the march, as Standard Chartered, HSBC, Santander, BNP Paribas, Barclays and Lloyds all rose.
UK baker Greggs jumped 8% as it slowed sales decline caused by the coronavirus crisis in the fourth quarter.