By Peter Nurse
Investing.com – European equity markets open mixed on Thursday, with investors keeping an eye on ongoing Brexit negotiations and stimulus talks in the US ahead of the Bank’s latest policy-making meeting. ‘England.
At 2:05 am ET (0705 GMT), the contract in Germany was up 0.2%, in France it was up 0.2%, while the contract in the UK was down 0.2%.
EU and UK negotiators continued to discuss future trade relations between the two sides, with a seemingly tantalizing yet distant turn.
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen told the European Parliament in Brussels on Wednesday that “there is a road to agreement now” on an agreement, with fishing rights appearing to remain a crucial point.
He added that “the next few days will be decisive”, with only two weeks before the UK leaves the EU trade bloc.
Across the Atlantic, negotiations on a new coronavirus spending package continued on Wednesday, with US lawmakers on both sides looking more positive than they have done in recent months on passing a stimulus of $ 900 billion.
The US Federal Reserve concluded its two days on Wednesday, with the central bank vowing to maintain its massive asset purchase program until it sees “further substantial progress” in employment and inflation.
Next is, Thursday, the last meeting of the year. Policy makers should refrain from further stimulus with the uncertainty surrounding the Brexit negotiations for now.
The main economic release on Thursday will be the figure for the euro zone for November.
In company news, Rio Tinto (NYSE 🙂 is likely to be in the spotlight, after the mining giant named CFO Jakob Stausholm as its new CEO. He replaces Jean-Sebastien Jacques, who resigned following outrage over the company’s decision to blow up the ancient and sacred aboriginal rock shelters. Also in the UK, telecom group and Internet provider Talk Talk said it agreed to sell itself to an acquisition fund backed by Martin Hughes’ Toscafund.
Oil prices rose Thursday, hitting a nine-month high after government data showed a drop in inventories last week, suggesting that demand remained resilient despite rising Covid-19 cases.
The United States dropped 3.1 million barrels in the week through December 11, the Energy Information Administration said Wednesday at the end. The magnitude of this decline came as a surprise, particularly after industry group API reported Tuesday that it grew by nearly 2 million barrels over the same time period.
US crude oil futures were trading up 1.3% to $ 48.43 a barrel, while the international benchmark contract was up 1.2% to $ 51.67. Both benchmarks hit their highest levels since early March.
Elsewhere, it rose 0.9% to $ 1,876.55 / oz, while it was trading up 0.3% to 1.2235.
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