European markets are providing a bright spot for investors after Tuesday’s heavy losses on Wall Street and a setback in the development of a potential COVID-19 vaccine sent Asian indices on a downward spiral earlier Wednesday.
Britain’s FTSE index is 0.7% higher at the midday mark. The CAC-40 index in France is up 0.4%, and Germany’s DAX index is gained 0.8%.
Japan’s benchmark Nikkei index lost just over one percent, while the S&P/ASX index in Australia dropped 2.1%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index finished down 0.6%, while the Shanghai Composite index lost 1.9%. Mumbai’s Sensex was 0.4% lower, the KOSPI in South Korea closed down just over one percent, and Taiwan’s TSEC finished 0.4% lower.
Investors were shaken after Tuesday’s big selloff in all three major U.S. indices, led by the technology-heavy Nasdaq, which lost a staggering 4.1%. Pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca’s announcement that it was halting late-state trials of its experimental coronavirus vaccine after a participant became ill also rattled investors in the region.
In commodities trading, gold is selling at $1,928.60 an ounce, down 0.7%. U.S. crude oil is selling at $37.15 per barrel, up one percent, while Brent crude, the international standard, is selling at $39.96 per barrel, up 0.4%.
Meanwhile, the Dow Jones, S&P 500 and the Nasdaq are all trending higher in futures trading ahead of Wall Street’s opening bell.