LONDON — European stocks crept higher on Tuesday morning as investors remain focused on the latest coronavirus developments and the state of U.S. politics.
The pan-European Stoxx 600 climbed 0.3% in early trade, with travel and leisure stocks adding 1% to lead gains as almost all sectors and major bourses advanced.
An increase in the number of coronavirus cases being seen worldwide is weighing on sentiment; stocks in Asia-Pacific were mixed in overnight trade after shares on Wall Street pulled back overnight from all-time highs on Monday. U.S. equity futures were flat in overnight trading.
Investor focus also remains fixed on coronavirus news and political events Stateside; House Democrats on Monday introduced an article of impeachment against U.S. President Donald Trump for inciting the mob attack at the Capitol last week. The lower chamber plans to vote on the article sometime this week.
Investors are also weighing up the prospect for additional U.S. fiscal stimulus after a Democratic sweep of Congress.
President-elect Joe Biden pledged Friday a hefty economic stimulus rollout, which he said will be “in the trillions of dollars.” More details will follow in a formal announcement on Thursday, six days before he is slated to take office. The need for further stimulus was underscored by an unexpected job loss in December.
On the coronavirus front, rising infections in Europe are dominating investor concerns although there is hope amid a mass rollout of vaccinations across the continent.
In terms of individual share price movement Tuesday, Swiss online pharmacy Zur Rose Group gained more than 6% in early trade after announcing a collaboration with Novo Nordisk.
At the bottom of the European blue chip index, Temenos slid 5% after Credit Suisse downgraded the Swiss banking software firm’s stock to “underperform.”
– CNBC’s Jacob Pramuk contributed to this market report.
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