European stocks set to fall in holiday-thinned trade

  • European stocks look set to fall at the open Wednesday as holiday-thinned trading continues in the region.
  • In Germany, the Dax is expected to dip by 34 points to 15,934, France's CAC 40 by 15 points to 7,168 and the U.K.'s FTSE by 19 points to 7,428. Markets in the U.K. and Ireland are back open after the Christmas holidays.

LONDON – European stocks look set to fall at the open Wednesday as holiday-thinned trading continues in the region.

In Germany, the Dax is expected to dip by 34 points to 15,934, France's CAC 40 by 15 points to 7,168 and the U.K.'s FTSE by 19 points to 7,428. Markets in the U.K. and Ireland are back open after the Christmas holidays.

Global investors are looking for a Santa Claus rally to close out a year in which the S&P 500 has rallied more than 27%. The benchmark index historically gains during the Santa Claus rally — the final five trading days of the current year and the first two of the new year. The period began Monday.

U.S. stock futures ticked higher on Wednesday morning following a mixed session on Tuesday. Market players have spent recent weeks juggling concerns over new Covid restrictions and tighter central bank policy with early studies suggesting omicron strain of the virus is milder than previous variants like delta. New studies in South Africa and the U.K. last week suggested omicron has a reduced risk of hospitalization and severe illness.

In the U.K. at the start of this week, infections were still topping 100,000, while France has also reported cases above that figure for the first time.

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