European stocks rise amid hopes of Brexit trade deal

European equities are expected to open higher on a light trading session, as traders were optimistic that a Brexit trade deal would be reached.

Britain’s FTSE 100 is seen rising 38 points to 6,530, France’s CAC rose 15 points to 5,552 and Italy’s FTSE MIB rose 93 points to 22,074, according to data from the IG index. German markets are closed on Christmas Eve.

Britain and the European Union are said to be about to close a post-Brexit trade deal on Thursday. It comes after months of political disputes over major points of conflict, such as fishing.

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson is due to speak with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen at about 7 am London time. Johnson is expected to give a press conference an hour later.

In Asia, stocks rose mostly with investors watching the latest Brexit developments. The broader MSCI index for Asia Pacific stocks outside Japan rose 0.5%.

On Wall Street, stock futures rose before the last trading day of the shortened holiday week.

President Donald Trump vetoed a broad defense bill on Wednesday, breaking the Republican-led Senate. The move came after he called Congress’s $ 900 billion coronavirus relief package an inappropriate “disgrace”.