By Steve Goldstein
European stocks edged higher on Wednesday, with markets advancing as the U.S. still tabulated the results of the election.
The Stoxx Europe 600 /zigman2/quotes/210599654/delayed XX:SXXP +1.34% edged up 0.3% in midday trade, buoyed by the pharmaceutical sector, with Roche /zigman2/quotes/206324342/delayed CH:ROG -0.35% and AstraZeneca /zigman2/quotes/203048482/delayed UK:AZN +0.71% gaining ground. The French CAC 40 /zigman2/quotes/210597958/delayed FR:PX1 +1.28% gained 0.7% to lead the major regional indexes.
According to the Associated Press, former Vice President Joe Biden leads President Donald Trump with a handful of key U.S. battleground states still tabulating votes, and Trump suggesting he was ready to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.
The proposal for higher taxes from Biden is in jeopardy from a U.S. Senate that’s looking evenly divided.
Europe’s banks, including HSBC Holdings /zigman2/quotes/203901799/delayed UK:HSBA -0.68% and Banco Santander /zigman2/quotes/205677933/delayed ES:SAN +0.88% , slumped as the prospect for U.S. infrastructure spending diminished, further keeping a lid on bond yields.
The election results didn’t prevent European companies from reporting financial results. Marks & Spencer /zigman2/quotes/206225481/delayed UK:MKS +2.89% shares rose 5% as the U.K. retailer reported a loss but reported better food sales than expected.