European stocks up for third straight day as investors cling to COVID-19 vaccine hopes

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VINCENZO PINTO/AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE/GETTY IMAGES

European stocks moved higher Wednesday, as investors struggled to hold onto optimism driven by positive news this week on COVID-19 vaccines, while ABN Amro shares fell after results, leading banks lower.

The Stoxx Europe 600 index SXXP, 0.68% rose 0.6%, on track for its third straight win. The German DAX index DAX, 0.44%, French CAC 40 PX1, 0.44% and the FTSE 100 index UKX, 0.64% rose 0.4% each.

Monday marked a nearly 4% gain for the Stoxx 600 and the biggest one-day rise since March, with the index up another 0.9% on Tuesday.

Stock futures ES00, 0.76% YM00, 0.68% climbed across the board, with the Nasdaq-100 NQ00, 1.17% leading that move higher. U.S. stocks finished mixed on Tuesday as investors continued to rotate out of technology and into cyclical names well placed to benefit from an economic recovery.

Monday’s news from Pfizer PFE, -1.32% and partner BioNTech BNTX, +7.59% — that their COVID-19 vaccine candidate was more than 90% effective in preventing the disease in preliminary results — has fueled gains for stocks geared to a recovery from the pandemic.

Read: Everything you need to know about BioNTech and the married couple behind the COVID-19 vaccine at the front of a global race

In Asia, China technology names fell sharply on Wednesday, led by a 9% drop for e-commerce group Alibaba BABA, -8.25% after new Chinese regulations aimed at technology companies. Alibaba’s losses came on the same day as its annual Singles Day sales festival.

Banks were lower in Europe, led by shares of ABN Amro ABN, -4.53%, which tumbled more than 5% after the Dutch bank’s results. The bank reported higher third-quarter earnings, boosted in part by lower impairments, but analysts focused on a sharp fall in net interest income.

Net interest income for ABN slumped 10%, and was guided to trend down further in 2021, noted Suvi Platerink Kosonen, analyst at ING, in a note to clients.

Elsewhere, BNP Paribas BNP, -2.42% dropped 2% and UBS UBS, +1.10% fell 0.8%.

Shares of Rolls-Royce RR, -4.21% slumped 8%, with the engineering company giving back all of a 7% surge on Tuesday.

Shares of Continental CON, -1.03% slid over 5% after the German car-parts supplier provided new guidance for 2020 and said that it expects lower sales and a smaller adjusted earnings margin.

Pharmaceutical names were up across the board, with AstraZeneca AZN, +4.66% AZN, 1.82% and Novartis NVS, +0.38% NOVN, 1.60% up over 1% each, and Roche Holding ROG, 2.54% gaining 2%

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