European Markets Make Gains Despite Political Upheaval, Pandemic

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.

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