European stocks struggled for traction on Wednesday, with investors focused on company results and a Federal Reserve meeting for later. Nasdaq-100 futures were climbing after Microsoft results.
The Stoxx Europe 600 index
rose 0.1% to 408.17, after a 0.6% gain on Tuesday. Regional bourses were mixed, with the German DAX
down 0.2%, the French CAC 40
up 0.3%, and the FTSE 100 index
After a slightly weaker close for Wall Street on Tuesday, Nasdaq-100 futures
traded higher after technology giant Microsoft
reported record earnings, hitting $40 billion in quarterly sales for the first time. Investors will get results from tech giants Apple
along with electric-car maker Tesla
after the close of trading on Wednesday.
Investors will also get a decision from the Federal Reserve, followed by a news conference with Chair Jerome Powell, with hopes the central bank will continue with a supportive stance for markets amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Global coronavirus virus infections topped the 100 million mark on Tuesday, according to a tally from Johns Hopkins University
The U.K. also reached a milestone on Tuesday, surpassing 100,000 COVID-19 deaths, the first European country to do so. Home Secretary Priti Patel is expected to announce new rules on Wednesday to limit the influx of visitors to the U.K.
Shares of Royal KPN
jumped 4%, after the Dutch telecommunications company said fourth-quarter net profit more than doubled, boosted by one-off items. It also raised its cash-flow guidance for 2021.
Shares of Sanofi
Sanofi said that it will continue to develop its two candidates against COVID-19. Sanofi and U.K. pharmaceutical group GlaxoSmithKline
shares fell 2%, after the French utility released an updated schedule and cost estimates for the Hinkley Point C nuclear power station, saying it sees a delay and higher costs due to the pandemic.
Shares of technology firm ASML
were down 1.6%.
Another big decliner was Danish shipping giant A.P. Moller-Maersk
whose shares fell 6%.