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Europe open: Shares higher as markets await Biden inauguration

(Sharecast News) – European stocks opened 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 was up 0.47% in early trading, with most bourses showing gains. US Dow Jones futures were up 38 points.

Italy’s FTSE MIB outperformed the market 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 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%.

Education publisher Pearson gained 7.4% 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 4.6% after 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.

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