European stock futures rise on U.S. political certainty, vaccines

LONDON — European stocks traded higher Wednesday as growing political certainty in the U.S. and positive coronavirus vaccine news boosts global sentiment.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 index was trading 1% higher with most sectors in positive territory except for insurance, autos, basic resources and chemicals.

Positive coronavirus vaccine news and emerging political certainty in the U.S. have prompted global stock markets to rally.

Stocks in Asia-Pacific mostly rose in Wednesday trade following a record session on Wall Street Tuesday. U.S. stock futures rose on Tuesday night following a banner day for three of the for major market benchmarks. Dow Jones Industrial Average futures traded higher by 132 points, or 0.4%. S&P 500 futures climbed 0.4% and Nasdaq 100 futures advanced 0.6%.

The Dow broke above 30,000 for the first time on Tuesday, rallying more than 400 points. Tuesday’s rally put the Dow on pace for its biggest monthly gain since 1987, up more than 13%.

Outgoing President Donald Trump briefly emerged for a press conference on Tuesday to tout the Dow’s breaking 30,000 for the first time ever, but left after a minute without taking questions. His appearance came after his administration took a major step toward the transition to Joe Biden’s presidency.

President-elect Joe Biden introduced his nominees for top national security positions Tuesday, saying they will “restore America globally, its global leadership and its moral leadership.”

A more certain political outlook has buoyed markets, along with more positive vaccine news earlier this week; British pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca said an early analysis showed its vaccine candidate had an average efficacy of 70%, adding to positive vaccine news from Pfizer and Moderna.

Earnings come from Maersk Group on Wednesday; there are no major data releases.

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– CNBC’s Fred Imbert and Kevin Breuninger contributed to this report.

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