European markets open to close after tumultuous week on omicron – .

Investors digest Fed pivot, inflation and economic data – .

LONDON – European markets rose on Friday, seeking a positive end to a tumultuous week after the discovery of the new Covid-19 omicron variant.

Pan-European Stoxx 600 added 0.5% in early trading, with travel and leisure stocks rebounding 2% on easing omicron fears as nearly all sectors and major exchanges entered positive territory .
European stocks are looking to bounce back from Thursday’s pullback, which saw the Stoxx 600 drop 1.1% and the continent’s tech sector drop 3.8% to cause losses across the board.

Stocks in Asia-Pacific were mostly higher on Friday, although Hong Kong was weighed down by technology stocks after rideshare giant Didi said on Friday it would start taking steps to exit the stock market from New York – less than six months after debuting in the United States.

In the United States, equity futures were eased at the start of pre-market trading as investors wait for the November jobs report, which is expected to post solid job growth last month. A Dow Jones poll predicted that 581,000 jobs had been created in November.

Fears about the potential impact of the omicron variant appeared to ease slightly on Friday after scientists in South Africa, where the variant was first discovered, said existing vaccines should still offer protection against severe cases of Covid-19. The three cases detected in the United States showed only mild symptoms.

Authorities around the world are scrambling to contain the new strain, which the South African health agency says poses a risk of re-infection three times higher than the globally dominant delta variant.

GlaxoSmithKline announced Thursday that laboratory tests indicated that its therapeutic antibody drug would be effective against omicron.

In addition to monitoring omicron’s developments, European investors will also digest the November PMI (Purchasing Managers’ Index) final readings for the euro zone and the UK on Friday morning, as well as the retail sales of the October euro zone.
Eurozone consumer price inflation in November hit a record high 4.9% p.a. in November, according to this week’s data, while producer prices jumped 5.4% in October for an increase of 21.9% year-on-year.

CPI inflation is expected to remain above the ECB’s 2% target in 2022, but two European Central Bank policymakers maintained on Thursday that inflation is “transient”, despite the withdrawal of this. adjective by US Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell earlier this week.

In terms of the development of individual stock prices, Swedish online game company Evolution has climbed more than 8% in early trades after a share buyback.

At the bottom of the Stoxx 600, Swedish shares of Orphan Biovitrum plunged more than 22% after US private equity firm Advent and the Singapore sovereign wealth fund withdrew their $ 8 billion offer on the Swedish maker of medications.

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