European markets are set to rise higher in holiday-thinned trade


European markets are set to creep higher at the start of the last trading week of 2020, as traders react to Brexit developments and as President Donald Trump signed a $900 billion Covid-19 relief bill into law.

The U.K. FTSE 100 index will remain closed on Monday for the holidays, but France’s CAC 40 and Germany’s DAX index are set to rise.

Trump averted a government shutdown late Sunday, and extended unemployment benefits to millions of Americans. The signing came days after Trump suggested he would veto the legislation, demanding $2,000 direct payments to Americans, instead of $600. Stock futures in the U.S. rose slightly on the news.

In Asia, shares of Alibaba in Hong Kong dropped more than 8% for the second straight session after Chinese regulators ordered Alibaba-affiliate Ant Group to rectify its businesses.

Back in Europe, traders will likely react to the announcement of a Brexit trade deal between the U.K. and the EU. The agreement, sealed after markets closed on Dec. 24, still needs to be approved this week by both U.K. and EU Parliaments before the Dec. 31 deadline.

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