European stock markets firmer on Trump, Brexit leads

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Paris

European stock markets opened firmer Monday, finding support after US President Donald Trump signed a new economic recovery package into law despite refusing to do so initially. Progress on the coronavirus vaccine rollout helped sentiment but concerns over the emergence of new strains, said to be more infectious, made for caution. Thursday’s post-Brexit trade accord after months of difficult negotiations was taken as at least better than no deal at all. “With the Brexit ‘argy-bargy’ and the US stimulus deal now in the rear-view mirror, there is a sense of relief that we have avoided the respective worst-case scenarios, so we can start to narrow our focus for 2021,” Stephen Innes, Chief Global Markets Strategist at Axi, said in a note.—AFP