European stocks shook off early losses to inch higher on Wednesday, while U.S. stock futures also rose, as investors weighed up earnings news and concerns over the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Stoxx Europe 600 index SXXP, -0.09% inched up 0.2%, after snapping a three-session win streak on Tuesday with a 0.6% decline. The German DAX DAX, -0.05% and the French CAC 40 PX1, -0.17% rose 0.1%. The euro EURUSD was steady.
The FTSE 100 UKX, -0.52% rose 0.4%, getting a boost from Brexit worries that were sending the pound GBPUSD, 0.74% lower earlier. Sterling flatted out to $1.2927 ahead of Thursday’s deadline set by the U.K. and the European Union for Brexit negotiations.
Sterling declined the most among major currencies, down 0.4% against the euro (EURGBP=), the dollar and yen (GBPJPY=). EU leaders will hold a summit in Brussels on Thursday and Friday to assess progress.
MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside of Japan (MIAPJ0000PUS) had tracked Wall Street’s losses overnight to end a seven-day rally.
The index was last down 0.25%, having toppled from a two-and-a-half-year high of 588.76 touched on Tuesday. Chinese shares (CSI300) closed down 0.7%.
Euro zone August industrial production data is due on Wednesday.
Oil slipped on concerns that fuel demand will continue to falter on concern rising coronavirus cases across Europe and in the United States, the world’s biggest oil consumer, will impede economic growth.
Brent (LCOc1) and U.S. crude (CLc1) were off around 0.5% at $42.24 and $39.97 a barrel, respectively.