European stocks may open flat to slightly higher on Thursday as investors cheer signs of an improving U.S. economy. Trading volumes, however, are likely to remain thin ahead of the holiday break.
Novavax Inc’s Covid-19 vaccine is effective in generating an immune response against the Omicron variant, early data published on Wednesday showed.
Other Covid-19 vaccine manufacturers, including Pfizer Inc. and Moderna Inc., also reported increased immune responses to Omicron.
Asian markets were seeing modest gains after the results of three new studies suggested that Omicron is milder than Delta variant in terms of severity.
A cautious undertone prevailed as the year-end holidays approach. Many world markets will be closed Friday in observance of Christmas.
The dollar languished near an almost one-week low against its major peers, while oil extended sharp overnight gains on data showing a large inventory drawdown. Gold inched higher in Asian trade on dollar weakness.
In economic releases, Destatis releases Germany’s import price data for November later in the day. Economists expect import price inflation to ease to 19.6 percent from 21.7 percent in October.
Across the Atlantic, a slew of economic data is scheduled to be released, including reports on weekly jobless claims, durable goods orders, personal income and spending, and new home sales as traders look to get a head start on the Christmas weekend.
U.S. stocks advanced overnight as Omicron fears subsided and the latest data on consumer confidence, home sales and revised third-quarter economic growth painted a positive picture of the world’s largest economy.
Meanwhile, the White House said it was resuming talks on a major social spending bill with a senator crucial to passing the legislation.
The Dow rose 0.7 percent, the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite climbed 1.2 percent and the S&P 500 added 1 percent.
European stocks rose on Wednesday as a slew of U.S. economic data topped forecasts and the British government pledged £1 billion ($1.3 billion) to businesses hit by the new Covid-19 variant.
The pan European Stoxx 600 climbed 0.9 percent. The German DAX gained 1 percent, France’s CAC 40 index rallied 1.2 percent and the U.K.’s FTSE 100 advanced 0.6 percent.
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