WATCH: Apple’s new devices bring no cheer to subdued overseas markets
Stock markets were mixed on Wednesday, as strong corporate earnings and new devices from Apple failed to distract from the worsening picture on COVID-19 and US stimulus talks.
European stock markets mostly opened near flat on Wednesday morning. Michael Hewson, chief market analyst at CMC Markets, said there was a “sombre mood” among investors.
Markets around the world had fallen on Tuesday after two COVID-19 vaccine trials were paused. Sentiment was also hit by a lack of progress in US stimulus talks and rising COVID-19 cases around the world, which has led to increased restrictions across Europe.
The FTSE 100 (^FTSE) initially rose half a percent, boosted by pressure on the pound. Around 70% of company earnings on the index are derived in dollars, so a weak pound makes their share prices look more attractive.
Sterling had come under early pressure against the euro and dollar, as traders fretted about Thursday’s looming deadline for Brexit trade negotiations. However, a Bloomberg report claiming the UK would not walk away from talks tomorrow reversed the momentum and sent the pound higher against both the dollar and euro.
As a result, the FTSE 100 found itself down 0.5% by mid-afternoon.
In London, strong earnings from Just Eat Takeaway (JET.L) sent the stock up over 5%. The takeaway ordering app reported a surge in orders during lockdown.
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