By Peter Nurse
Investing.com – European stock markets are seen opening mixed Thursday, with investors keeping a wary eye on ongoing Brexit negotiations and U.S. stimulus talks, ahead of the Bank of England’s latest policy-setting meeting.
At 2:05 AM ET (0705 GMT), the contract in Germany traded 0.2% higher, in France climbed 0.2%, while the contract in the U.K. fell 0.2%.
EU and U.K. negotiators continued to discuss the future trade relationship between the two sides, with a breakthrough still seemingly tantalisingly far away.
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen told the European Parliament in Brussels on Wednesday that “there is a path to an agreement now” on a deal, with fishing rights appearing to remain a key sticking point.
She added the “next few days are going to be decisive”, with just two weeks left before the U.K. leaves the EU trading bloc.
Across the Atlantic, negotiations over a new coronavirus-relief spending package continued on Wednesday, with senior U.S. lawmakers on both sides sounding more positive than they have in months about approving a $900 billion stimulus bill.
The U.S. Federal Reserve concluded its two-day on Wednesday, with the central bank promising to maintain its massive asset purchase program until it sees “substantial further progress” in employment and inflation.
The is next up, holding its last meeting of the year later Thursday. The policymakers are widely expected to refrain from yet more stimulus with the uncertainty surrounding the Brexit negotiations staying their hands for now.
The main economic release Thursday will be the figure for the eurozone for November.
In corporate news, Rio Tinto (NYSE:) is likely to be in the spotlight, after the mining giant named finance director Jakob Stausholm as its new CEO. He replaces Jean-Sebastien Jacques, who resigned following outrage over the company’s decision to blow up ancient and sacred Aboriginal rock shelters. Also in the U.K., telecoms group and Internet provider Talk Talk said it had agreed to sell itself to a buyout fund backed by Martin Hughes’ Toscafund.
Oil prices surged Thursday, hitting a nine month-high after government data showed a fall in stocks last week, suggesting demand remained resilient despite the surge in Covid-19 cases.
U.S. fell by 3.1 million barrels in the week to Dec. 11, the Energy Information Administration said late Wednesday. The extent of this drop came as a surprise, particularly after the industry group API reported Tuesday that grew by almost 2 million barrels in the same time period.
U.S. crude futures traded 1.3% higher at $48.43 a barrel, while the international benchmark contract rose 1.2% to $51.67. Both benchmarks hit their highest levels since early March.
Elsewhere, rose 0.9% to $1,876.55/oz, while traded 0.3% higher at 1.2235.
Go to the news source: European Stock Futures Mixed; Bank of England Eyed By Investing.com