European stock markets rebounded on Tuesday, December 22, from the sharp coronavirus-related falls seen a day earlier, while Wall Street equities were mixed following lackluster United States data.
European markets had a good day despite grinding talks over Brexit and lingering unease over the latest coronavirus trends.
The European Union (EU) has rejected the latest United Kingdom offer on fishing, but is ready to pursue a post-Brexit trade deal even beyond the end of the year, diplomats said.
Meanwhile, the European Commission recommended that EU member states lift the blanket bans some have imposed on travel from Britain in response to a new strain of COVID-19.
The new variant of the virus, which also has been detected in small numbers elsewhere, appears to spread more easily than other types, but experts say there is no evidence it is more lethal or resistant to vaccines.
After dropping around 2% or more, bourses in London, Paris, and Frankfurt all advanced, with analysts pointing to positive sentiment after the US Congress approved a new $900-billion relief package after months of negotiations.
Back in the US, the Nasdaq closed at a fresh record, but the Dow and S&P 500 finished lower amid more worrisome economic data.
“Worry over the impacts of the virus and the subsequent new restrictions are tamping down some of the early enthusiasm that came amid passage of a long-awaited fiscal relief and government spending package,” Schwab analysts said.
Data showed consumer confidence falling for a second straight month, while existing home sales fell for the first time in 6 months, more signs of the drag from the rising coronavirus cases.
“Consumers’ assessment of current conditions deteriorated sharply in December, as the resurgence of COVID-19 remains a drag on confidence,” The Conference Board’s Lynn Franco said in a statement on the consumer data.
David Kelly at JPMorgan Asset Management said the US stimulus bill “will help some workers and businesses get through the winter, but it will do little to accelerate the arrival of an economic recovery.”
Among individual companies, Apple jumped 2.9% amid reports the tech company aims to launch its autonomous car in 2024.
Walmart dropped 1.2% after the US Justice Department sued the retail giant over its role in the opioid crisis, alleging the giant retailer wrongly filled prescriptions and worsened a public health disaster.
Walmart said the charges were baseless and an effort by authorities to shift blame away from their role in the debacle.
Alaska Air Group gained 0.3% as it sealed a deal to add 23 more Boeing 737 MAX planes to its order, saying the transaction would move it toward a single fleet that would be more efficient and cost-effective. Boeing dropped 0.2%.
Key figures around 9:45 pm GMT
- New York – Dow: DOWN 0.7% at 30,015.51 (close)
- New York – S&P 500: DOWN 0.2% at 3,687.26 (close)
- New York – Nasdaq: UP 0.5% at 12,807.92 (close)
- London – FTSE 100: UP 0.6% at 6,453.16 (close)
- Frankfurt – DAX 30: UP 1.3% at 13,418.11 (close)
- Paris – CAC 40: UP 1.4% at 5,466.86 (close)
- EURO STOXX 50: UP 1.4% at 3,497.49 (close)
- Tokyo – Nikkei 225: DOWN 1% at 26,436.39 (close)
- Hong Kong – Hang Seng: DOWN 0.7% at 26,119.25 (close)
- Shanghai – Composite: DOWN 1.9% at 3,356.78 (close)
- Pound/dollar: DOWN at $1.3375 from $1.3464 at 10 pm GMT
- Euro/pound: UP at 90.94 pence from 90.93 pence
- Euro/dollar: DOWN at $1.2164 from $1.2244
- Dollar/yen: UP at 103.60 yen from 103.32 yen
- West Texas Intermediate: DOWN 2.8% at $47.74 per barrel
- Brent North Sea crude: DOWN 2.6% at $50.91 per barrel
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