European stocks jump on first trading day of 2021
Major indexes have had a strong start, all up around 1% at the start of trading:
- FTSE 100 is up 1.4%
- FTSE 250 is up 1%
- Germany’s DAX is up 1.2%
- France’s CAC 40 is up 1.1%
- Spain’s IBEX is up 1.3%
Introduction: Start of Oxford/AstraZeneca jab distribution lifts markets
Good morning, and welcome to our rolling coverage of the world economy, the financial markets, the eurozone and business.
A recent rise in Covid cases in countries like the UK, US and Japan, has failed to dampen market enthusiasm on the first full trading day of 2021.
It comes as investors pin their hopes on the distribution of Covid vaccines including the Oxford/AstraZeneca jab, which will start being used in the UK today.
The broadest measure of Asia-Pacific shares (outside Japan) hit an all-time high after rising 1.2% in Monday trading.
Major indexes across Europe are set to follow suit, aided by the fact that Brexit uncertainties – which have been blamed for the bulk of market fluctuations outside of Covid over the past 4.5 years – are now in the rear-view mirror, after the UK formally exited the bloc on New Year’s Eve.
Across the pond, Wall Street is also gearing up for a strong start to the new year with Dow, S&P 500, and Nasdaq futures all rising around 0.3%, hitting new record highs.
We’ll also be keeping a close eye on oil prices, as Opec members meet today. The group of oil producing nations are reportedly mulling a production cap in February to further support prices hit by a drop in demand during the pandemic. The global benchmark, Brent crude, is currently up 2.2% at around $52.94 per barrel.
We’re also expecting confirmation on how the manufacturing sector fared across the UK and mainland Europe in December. China’s own manufacturing PMI data released overnight showed slightly weaker growth, slipping to 53.0 in December versus expectations of a 54.7 reading, and 54.9 in November. That was chalked up to weaker export growth due to modest foreign demand. However, a reading above 50 still signals expansion.
- 8.15am GMT: Spanish manufacturing PMI (December, final)
- 8:45-8.55am GMT: Italian, French and German manufacturing PMI (December, final)
- 9.00am GMT: Eurozone manufacturing PMI (December, final)
- 9.30am GMT: UK manufacturing PMI (December, final)
- 9.30am GMT: UK mortgage approvals, net mortgage lending, and consumer credit (November)
- 2.45pm GMT: US manufacturing PMI (December, final)