European stock markets traded mostly higher Friday, helped by increasing confidence of a U.S. stimulus package that is reinforcing the positive sentiment generated by the rollout of Covid-19 vaccines. Global stock markets have seen strong gains over the last few weeks, helped by investor optimism that vaccine developments will support a global recovery in 2021. Adding to the confidence is the idea that a bipartisan, $908 billion coronavirus relief plan is gaining traction in the U.S. Congress.
It is a busy day ahead for the majors. Economic data, COVID-19 vaccine updates, Brexit, and U.S stimulus talks will all be in focus.
Global investors are on the hunt for the next positive catalyst after a massive market rally. Morgan Stanley's chief U.S. equity strategist has warned of a short-term correction in U.S. equities. The Dow futures are down marginally by 0.05%, and the S&P 500 futures are near flat on the last check early Thursday. WTI crude futures have gained 0.24% to $45.39, and gold futures are up 0.66% to $1,842.30. Ten-year Treasury yield is down by 0.3 bps at 0.943%, closer to the critical 1% mark.Asia: Japan's Nikkei 225 stayed near a 29-year high, closing 0.03% higher on Thursday as foreign investors remained net buyers in Japanese stocks. The nation's services activity ticked higher to 47.8 in November. China's Shanghai Composite benchmark fell 0.21% after the U.S. Congress cleared a bill that threatens to delist Chinese securities in the U.S. on non-compliance with audit rules. The country's November services PMI improved significantly to 57.8, beating the consensus of 56.5.Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index advanced 0.73% after its manufacturing activity for November hit 50.1, the highest since April 2018.Australia's S&P/ASX 200 closed up 0.38% after the continent's October trade surplus expanded to A$7.46 billion. October retail sales data is due later today.India's Nifty 50 index is trading higher by 0.15%. Its services activity for November dipped to 53.7, a big miss from 55.5 consensuses. India's central bank has put curbs on the digital and credit card operations of one of the largest lenders, HDFC Bank Limited (NYSE: HDB).South Korea's KOSPI jumped 0.76%. It's forex reserves jumped to $436.38 billion in November.Europe: Euro Stoxx 50 is trading lower by 0.18% on press time. The bloc's October PPI fell 2% year-over-year but grew 0.4% YoY, beating consensus on both counts. The unemployment rate ticked lower to 8.4%, as expected. Composite PMI and retail sales data is due later today.London's FTSE 100 index is up by 0.07% at publication time. Composite and services PMI data is due today.Germany's DAX is trading lower by 0.25% after November services activity contracted significantly to 46, from 49.5 prior. November's Composite PMI contracted to 51.7 from 55 previous. France's CAC 40 is down by 0.27% after French services PMI in November fell drastically to 38.8 from 46.5 prior. Spain's IBEX 35 is trading lower by 0.37% after the Spanish services activity index fell to 39.5.Forex Trading: U.S. Dollar Index futures have fallen below the critical 91 levels, down 0.19% at 90.948. The dollar has weakened against the Euro by 0.05% to $1.2121, lost 0.28% against the Sterling Pound to $1.3401, and shed 0.12% against the Japanese Yen to ¥104.27.For news coverage in Italian or Spanish, check out Benzinga Italia and Benzinga España.See more from Benzinga * Click here for options trades from Benzinga * Markets Risk Short-Term Correction On Overbought Stocks, Morgan Stanley Warns * Global Markets Take A Breather Following Tuesday's Rally(C) 2020 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment advice. All rights reserved.