Markets

European Markets Close Higher as Investors Assess Omicron Risk; Stoxx 600 Up 1.4%

Dan Kitwood | Getty Images News | Getty Images
  • Global stocks pulled back on Monday as fears over the rapid spread of the omicron variant and the potential for further containment measures dented risk assets.
  • Moderna announced Monday that the booster dose of its Covid-19 vaccine had shown itself to be effective against the omicron variant in laboratory testing.

LONDON — European markets closed higher on Tuesday after the previous session's sell-off, with concerns over the omicron Covid-19 variant still hanging over global stocks.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 provisionally ended around 1.4% higher, retracing much of Monday's loss. Travel and leisure stocks jumped 3.5% to lead gains as all sectors and major bourses ended the session in positive territory.

European shares grabbed the baton from their counterparts in Asia-Pacific, where a bounce back for Japanese markets led broad regional gains overnight.

Stateside, U.S. stocks rebounded on Tuesday following three days of losses as omicron's spread and the potential for further containment measures dented risk assets.

Following a lengthy Cabinet meeting on Monday, U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson decided against imposing more stringent social restrictions over the Christmas period but refused to rule out new measures in the near future.

Moderna announced Monday that the booster dose of its Covid-19 vaccine had shown itself to be effective against the omicron variant in laboratory testing.

Meanwhile, the European Union has approved the use of Novavax's vaccine in people aged 18 or over, making it the fifth shot available for use within the bloc.

Central bank policymakers also continue to assess the outlook for inflation, and European Central Bank Vice President Luis de Guindos conceded Monday that spiking inflation in the euro zone will not be as temporary as the ECB first expected.

On the data front, a flash euro zone consumer confidence reading for December is due at 3 p.m. London time.

In terms of individual share price movement, French transportation conglomerate Bolloré jumped 12.5% after receiving a $6.4 billion bid from Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) for its African logistics assets.

At the bottom of the European blue chip index, Swiss online pharmacy Zur Rose Group fell 16% after the introduction of e-prescriptions was postponed in Germany.

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