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James Hyerczyk
S&P 500

Asian shares finished mixed as investors focused on the regional turmoil in Hong Kong, but European shares are edging higher on Wednesday as investors eyed a fresh European Union stimulus plan. Meanwhile in the United States investors continue to remain optimistic over the reopening of the economy and progress toward a coronavirus vaccine. Nonetheless, the trade was a little tentative at all global exchanges on simmering U.S.-China tensions.

At 09:40 GMT, the UK’s FTSE 100 is trading 6160.20, up 92.44 or +1.52%. Germany’s Dax is at 11706.36, up 201.71 or +1.75% and France’s CAC 40 Index is trading 4699.60, up 93.36 or +2.03%.

Meanwhile, the pan-European STOXX 600 rose 0.3%, hovering near an 11-week high hit in the previous session, led by hard-hit banking, travel and leisure, and auto sectors.

The easing of lockdowns in many European countries and improving economic data have spurred buying in the growth-exposed cyclical sectors in recent weeks, putting European stocks on course for a modest 2.9% gain in May.

European Commission Prepares to Unveil New Stimulus Plan

Euro Zone stocks were also supported as the European Commission (EC) prepares to unveil a plan to help the EU economy recover from its coronavirus slump with a mix of grants, loans and guarantees exceeding 1 trillion Euros.

Hopes for a coordinated fiscal response to the coronavirus crisis have been boosted since France and Germany made proposals for a 500-billion-Euro Recovery Fund.

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UK Midcaps Hit 11-Week High on Reopening Optimism

British midcaps hit an 11-week high on Wednesday as hopes of an economic recovery with the easing of coronavirus lockdowns offset concerns about growing political unrest in Hong Kong over Beijing’s proposed national security laws.

The domestically-focused FTSE 250 gained 1.2%, rising for an eighth straight session as thousands of retailers prepared to reopen from June 1 from a months-long shutdown that has crushed the UK economy.

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson Faces Political Battle

In the U.K., pressure is mounting on U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson as a political battle over the position of his top aide Dominic Cummings, who is accused of breaking U.K. lockdown rules, intensifies. Cummings has refused to apologize and Boris Johnson has backed his advisor, despite widespread calls for Cummings to resign.

Dow Futures Surge in Pre-Market Trade

U.S. stock futures pointed to more gains at Wednesday’s open as optimism about the reopening of the economy and a potential coronavirus vaccine offset concerns about rising U.S.-China relations.

Dow futures pointed to an implied open of more than 400 points. The S&P 500 and NASDAQ futures also implied solid gains at the open.

For a look at all of today’s economic events, check out our economic calendar.

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