The German share price index DAX graph is pictured at the stock exchange in Frankfurt
FILE - The German share price index DAX graph is pictured at the stock exchange in Frankfurt, Germany, Dec. 16, 2020.

European markets are mostly higher Thursday in spite of the uncertainty over the last-ditch Brexit talks, the ejection of some Chinese stocks from the S&P Dow Jones' indices and the rising surge of new COVID-19 infections in many nations.
 
Britain’s benchmark FTSE index is 0.7% higher at midday.  The CAC-40 in Paris is up 0.3%, and the DAX index in Frankfurt remains unchanged.   
 
Asian markets finished lower across the board Thursday.  The Nikkei index in Japan dropped 0.2%. Australia’s S&P/ASX index lost 0.6%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index was down 0.4%. The KOSPI index in South Korea fell 0.3%, while Taiwan’s TSEC index plunged 0.9% and Mumbai’s Sensex index lost 0.3%.
 
Shanghai’s Composite index gained 1.31 points, but is unchanged in percentage terms (0.04%).  
 
In commodities trading, gold is selling at $1,840.60 an ounce, up 0.1%.  U.S. crude oil is selling at $46.15 per barrel, up 1.3%, and Brent crude has soared to 1.5% selling at $49.61 per barrel.  
 
All three major U.S. indices are mixed in futures trading ahead of Thursday’s opening bell.