London, Jan 12 (AFP/APP): European stock indices declined Tuesday as hopes for coronavirus vaccinations and US monetary stimulus competed with fears over surging infections, tougher lockdowns, and political turmoil across the Atlantic, traders said.
The dollar was mostly lower against other major currencies, while oil prices rose. Gains by the pound against the dollar weighed on the London stock market which includes many multinationals that earn substantial amounts of their profits in the US currency.
Bitcoin was steadier after swings of 20 percent in recent days, trading for around $34,500. “The fact that vaccines are being rolled out will be comforting for investors but the first quarter is shaping up to be far more painful than anticipated,” said Craig Erlam, analyst at Oanda trading group.
“This may dampen sentiment in the coming weeks, especially if corporate America raises concerns during fourth-quarter earnings season, which kicks off later this week.”
Another focus of attention for traders was Washington, where Democrats are seeking a historic second impeachment of Donald Trump, whom they accuse of inciting an attack on the Capitol Building that left five people dead.
There is a concern however that the move could distract from the Democrats’ plans for a bigger stimulus bill to soften the virus’s impact, and some warn the row could overshadow President-elect Joe Biden’s first months in office.
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