Brexit, U.S. stimulus on the agenda

LONDON — European markets pulled back Friday as investors monitor stalling U.S. fiscal stimulus talks and the rapidly approaching deadline for Brexit negotiations.The pan-European Stoxx 600 fell 1.3% by late morning, telecoms shedding 3.1% to lead losses as all sectors and major bourses slid into negative territory.British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Thursday that there was now a “strong possibility” of the U.K. departing the EU orbit without a free trade agreement at the end of the month, with a deadline to extend talks falling on Sunday and the two sides remaining at odds on key issues.With the U.K. already beginning to deploy the Pfizer and BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine, advisors to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Thursday endorsed the shot for emergency use stateside, where cases and deaths have continued to spiral.European markets look set for a mixed handover from Asia-Pacific, where investors continue to monitor ailing negotiations over fiscal stimulus in the U.S. There was little sign of progress Thursday as lawmakers seek to pass a bill before essential financial lifelines to Americans expire at the end of the year.U.S. stock futures were pointing to a flat open on Wall Street Friday morning against the uncertain backdrop.Back in Europe, the EU will finally be able to proceed with its plan to raise 750 billion euros ($908 billion) from public markets to support the bloc’s economic recovery efforts, on top of the 1.074 trillion euros ($1.3 trillion) to be spent between 2021 and 2027. Hungary and Poland on Thursday dropped vetoes to a proposal linking the disbursement of funds with adherence to European values.In terms of individual share price action, Hellofresh shares climbed more than 6% in early trade after Kepler Chevreux upgraded the stock from “hold” to “buy” and raised its target price.At the bottom of the European blue chip index, Ericsson shares dropped more than 7% after the Swedish telecoms giant filed a patent lawsuit against Samsung in the U.S.

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