European Markets Mixed Despite Encouraging Signs in Race Against COVID-19 Pandemic

European markets were mixed Tuesday amid growing optimism over the release and distribution of more COVID-19 vaccines around the world, coupled with a steady decline of new coronavirus cases.    
Britain’s benchmark FTSE index was up 0.1% at midday.  The CAC 40 index in France gained one-half of one point (+0.01%), while Germany’s DAX index was down more than 13 points (-0.09%).  
Asian markets, meanwhile, posted strong numbers earlier Tuesday. Japan’s benchmark Nikkei index finished 1.2% higher. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index surged 1.9%. South Korea’s KOSPI index earned 0.5%, while the TSEC in Taiwan rose 0.6%. 
Mumbai’s Sensex index was down 0.1%. Shanghai’s Composite index remained closed for the Lunar New Year holiday.    
Elsewhere, the  S&P/ASX index in Australia closed up 0.7%.
In commodities trading, gold is selling was $1,815.80 an ounce, down 0.4%. U.S. crude was selling at $59.62 per barrel, up 0.2%, and Brent crude oil was selling 0.9% higher, at $63.01 per barrel.  
All three major U.S. indices, which were inactive Monday for the federal President’s Day (Washington’s Birthday) holiday, were trending higher in futures trading ahead of Wall Street’s opening bell.  

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