By Peter Nurse Investing.com – European equity markets rose Thursday, helped by expectations of additional stimulus in the US, as Christmas trade reports flooded the retail sector. At 4:10 AM ET (0910 GMT), the in Germany was up 0.4%, the in France was up 0.3% and the UK index was up 0.4%. Tesco (OTC :), the UK’s largest food retailer, reported a 6.4% increase in comparable sales for the third quarter of its fiscal year and a 6.1% increase over the Christmas period. However, its shares fell 1.6% to its earnings guidance for the year unchanged, while Covid-related costs increased. Shares of Associated British Foods (OTC :), which owns the Primark fashion house, at cut prices, fell 0.7% after the retailer said lost sales due to the pandemic will exceed £ 1 billion, above the 650 million pounds mentioned above. Shares of fast fashion rival Boohoo (LON 🙂 fell 0.2% despite the company reporting an increase in sales during the lockdown and raising its 2021 sales growth forecasts. It warned of a impact of higher administrative costs due to Brexit, but did not put a figure on this. In France, meanwhile, Renault (PA 🙂 shares fell 2.6% and the struggling automaker unveiled a new strategic plan aimed at increasing operating margins to more than 5% by 2025, including by reducing its production in more than 20% in that period. Elsewhere, shipping giant Maersk AS (OTC 🙂 was up 2.0% based on data showing Chinese exports rose 18% in December. The idea of additional stimulus in the U.S. has boosted global equity markets since Democrats took over the Senate earlier in the year, and received another boost overnight after CNN reported that President-elect Joe Biden was considering an additional package as large as $ 2 billion. However, gains are likely to be limited on Thursday as governments in Europe tighten their coronavirus restrictions on fears about a fast-spreading strain first detected in the UK. Italy, whose government is on the brink of collapse, will extend its Covid-19 state of emergency until the end of April. The Netherlands will extend its lockdown measures for at least three weeks, while France is thinking of extending its curfew nationwide. In the United States, the House of Representatives voted to impeach President Donald Trump on the one count of incitement to insurrection for his role in last week’s uproar on Capitol Hill, making him the first American president to face two of those trials. . Oil prices fell on Thursday, and traders had to balance the impact of the pandemic on demand with a larger-than-expected drop in US inventories. Oil supply data from the Energy Information Administration released Wednesday showed a draw of 3.247 million barrels last week, the fifth straight week of cuts. US crude futures traded 0.7% lower at $ 52.55 a barrel, while the international benchmark contract fell 0.8% to $ 55.63. On the other hand, it fell 0.7% to $ 1,841.95 / oz, while it was trading 0.1% lower at 1.2155.