It is the first regular trading day of the new year.
European stocks open the year with optimism, buoyed by the successful sealing of the Brexit trade deal. The approval of the third vaccine in the United Kingdom provides support.
In the latest market charts, the pan-European STOXX 600 managed to hike by 1.2% which is the highest settlement since February 2020.
Among the day’s biggest gainers from the index are travel and leisure stocks with renewed hope for the sharp comeback of the sector during the year.
Similarly, mining shares also made significant strides during the day. Metals ended last year with one of their best records to date.
Following the upward trend, Germany’s DAX index regained losses incurred during the last trading session before the new period.
The German bourse managed to hike by 1.1% and traded just below its all-time high. France’s CAC 40 is up by 1.3% for the day.
In London, the FTSE index managed to sustain the momentum after a 1.6% hike. This is the first trading session that its home country, the United Kingdom, is out of its former parent’s orbit.
Shares from juggernauts in the financial sector, particularly from Lloyd’s Banking Group and Barclays traded conservatively lower.
This is due to the loophole in the post-Brexit trade deal that failed to cover the parties’ services sector, thus igniting downward pressure for those in the business.
Nevertheless, the agreement on the flow of goods is considered to be an imperative achievement, compared to divorce without a settlement.
Without the free trade agreement, the business relationship between the UK and EU would have been subjected to the regulations of the World Trade Organization.
This poses a risk of a high tariff and non-tariff barriers.
Nikkei Failed to Join the Festive Mood
In Asia, Nikkei is one of the few indices that failed to cheer along with the holiday mood.
The Japanese bourse closed relatively lower after falling 0.68% in the year’s first regular trading session.
In an update from the Tokyo Stock Exchange, falling stocks outpaced the advancing ones by 2,438 to 1,155. Another 164 remained unchanged.
Among the day’s biggest gainers are technology, telecommunications, and pharmaceutical stocks.
On the other hand, paper and pulp, transportation, and real estate sectors all ended with painful losses.
The fall is attributed to Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga’s confirmation that the government currently considers the adoption of another state of an emergency condition.
The said decision will apply to Tokyo and three other nearby prefectures but none is yet in place as of this writing.