06:46 AM EST, 01/13/2021 (MT Newswires) -- European bourses were flat mid-session Wednesday, as traders awaited details of the incoming US Biden Administration fiscal-stimulus package, and a slated House of Representatives vote on whether to impeach sitting President Donald Trump. The tenacious COVID-19 pandemic continues undercut the European economy, capping upsides, said analysts.
Bank stocks are under pressure as the outlook for continental anti-virus lockdowns lengthens, putting lender portfolios under pressure, while cues from Asian exchanges mixed, with Tokyo higher, but Hong Kong and Shanghai drifted lower.
Nevertheless, the broad-gauge Stoxx Europe 600 Index is flat midday, with stronger oil stocks keeping downside momentum in check.
On the sector metrics, the Stoxx Europe 600 Technology Index fell 0.2%, and the Stoxx 600 Bank Index was off 1.1%. The Stoxx Europe Oil & Gas Index was up 0.6%. An index of European REITs, (REITE), was flat.
On the national indices, the picture is one of steadiness. Frankfurt's DAX was off 0.2%, the Paris CAC was flat, and Spain's IBEX 35 was down 0.1%. The FTSE 100 in London was off 0.1%.
Front-month Brent crude futures prices were up 0.2%, near $56.70 a barrel.
The Euro Stoxx 50 volatility index was down 2% to 21.51, indicating modestly above-average volatility for European stock markets in the next 30 days, and still only just a little above the lowest (most positive) readings of the pandemic months. Above the 20-mark on the index indicates above-average volatility ahead, while below 20 suggests expectations for calmer markets.
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