European Stocks Higher; Brexit Talks

European stock markets are seen opening higher Wednesday, helped by small signs of progress in Brexit talks and continued confidence in the Covid-19 vaccine rollout ahead of this week’s ECB policy meeting.

At 2:10 AM ET, the DAX futures contract in Germany traded 0.2% higher, CAC 40 futures in France climbed 0.5% and the FTSE 100 futures contract in the U.K. rose 0.4%.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson will meet Ursula von der Leyen, president of the EU’s executive European Commission, in Brussels later Wednesday to try and solve the issues their negotiators have struggled with for months.

The differences over fishing rights, fair competition and ways to solve future disputes may still exist, but the decision of the U.K. government to drop controversial clauses in the U.K. Internal Market Bill, which would clash with the Brexit divorce agreement, may help with the discussions.

Adding to the positive tone is renewed confidence with Covid-19 vaccines.

The U.K. started vaccinating its public with the Pfizer/BioNTech injection on Tuesday, while the U.S. Food and Drug Administration released documents flagging no new safety or efficacy concerns, implying this vaccine will be approved for use in America when the administration meets on Thursday.