Time for post-Brexit deals expires

LONDON – European stocks were muted on Thursday morning as markets traded on the Brexit trade deal between the UK and the EU this week.

Pan-European stocks are hovering around the flatline in early 600 trade, with the food and beverage sector climbing 0.8% while travel stocks are down 0.7%.

UK and European lawmakers vowed to take a formal decision on the future of post-Brexit trade talks over the weekend following a private meeting between British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen on Wednesday evening.

Negotiations on some key issues, including fishing rights and competition rules, have stalled. Downing Street said there were “huge gaps” left, while von der Leyen called the two sides “separate.”

EU leaders are meeting in Brussels on Thursday for a two-day EU Council meeting.

Markets will also keep an eye on the European Central Bank and it will release its latest monetary policy decision and macroeconomic estimates on Thursday. The central bank expects to expand its large-scale stimulus program as the continent shares a second wave of coronavirus epidemics.

Asia-Pacific markets fell mostly on Thursday as investors watched the Brexit trade talks as well as ongoing negotiations for a coronavirus relief package in the US.

As early as Thursday, U.S. The stock index futures were flat as investors continued to assess the progress of the additional stimulus measures as well as the growth of the Covid-19 vaccine front.

During regular trading hours on Wednesday, US stocks rose to record highs. But eventually it was short-lived and the main average turned red; Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told Politico that the shares fell after Republicans and Democrats were “still looking for a way forward” about additional funding.

On the data front, UK GDP grew 0.4% in October, official figures released on Thursday, down from 1.1% in September.

In terms of the movement of individual share prices, the halofresh is up 7.4% after the German food kit delivery company extended its all-year guidance on Wednesday. At the bottom of the European Blue Chip Index, UK payment solutions firm Network International fell more than 6%.

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– Pippa Stevens of CNBC contributed to this market report.