European markets were higher on Wednesday morning as the coronavirus pandemic and U.S. political developments remain a key focus for investors.
The pan-European Stoxx 600 climbed 0.9% by late morning trade, with banks rallying 4.3% to lead gains while tech stocks bucked the upward trend to slide 0.6% lower.
International markets on Wednesday are keeping an eye on two runoff elections in Georgia that will determine control of the U.S. Senate.
Republican Senators Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue are facing Democratic challengers Rev. Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff, respectively.
European investors focused on the latest coronavirus developments, with England entering a third national lockdown on Tuesday and Germany on Tuesday extending its own lockdown until Jan. 31. Concerns are growing over a new strain of the virus found in South Africa; former FDA chief Dr. Scott Gottlieb warned Tuesday that the new variant appears to inhibit antibody drugs.
On Wednesday, investors will be looking out for the European Medicines Agency’s assessment of Moderna’s coronavirus vaccine.