(Sharecast News) – European shares opened higher on Wednesday led by banks, as the possibility of a Democrat win in the Georgia US Senate run-off elections boosted hopes of an improved fiscal stimulus package under the incoming Biden administration.
The pan-European Stoxx 600 index rose 0.08%, while UK’s FTSE 100 was up 0.68% and Germany’s DAX gained 0.18%. US futures were lower.
Shares in oil majors BP, Royal Dutch Shell and Total all gained as crude prices rose to their highest since last February on Saudi Arabia’s pledge to cut output more than expected in a meeting with allied producers.
In the US, victory has already been called for Democrat Raphael Warnock over Republican Kelly Loeffler, while in the other race Jon Ossoff currently leads against the incumbent Republican David Perdue.
Spreadex analyst Connor Campbell said a “Blue Wave” win was the ideal outcome for investors, with a Democrat-controlled Senate able to produce a far more substantial stimulus package than, for example, the bill agreed before Christmas.
Banks dominated the gainers on equity markets, with Standard Chartered, Banco Santander, HSBC, Barclays, NatWest and Lloyds all higher.
High Street bakery chain Greggs surged after it said its sales decline had slowed but warned that profits would not return to pre-Covid levels until 2022 at the earliest as it forecast a £15m loss this year and revealed 820 job losses.