European markets set to rebound after Omicron fears – .

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European markets set to rebound after Omicron fears – .



LONDON – European shares were higher on Wednesday after struggling to regain ground amid fears over the new omicron Covid variant.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 added 0.6% in early trade as travel and leisure stocks jumped 2.4% to lead gains while housewares resisted the uptrend to slide from 0 , 3%.
The positive start to the first trading day in December comes after global markets were rocked late last week and through Tuesday by concerns over the new omicron Covid-19 variant, amid fears that it can escape vaccines.

Major Asia-Pacific markets rebounded on Wednesday and US equity futures were higher in overnight trading after a massive sell-off on Wall Street on Tuesday, due to both fears over the new variant and of the Federal Reserve considering a faster-than-expected reduction.

U.S. stocks hit their lowest point when Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said the central bank would discuss accelerating the reduction in bond purchases at its December meeting.
Despite omicron’s potential disruption, the Fed chief said he believed the reduction in the pace of monthly bond purchases could go faster than the $ 15 billion-per-month schedule announced earlier this month – this.

Hopes rest on the ability of vaccine makers to develop effective vaccines against the strain, but there are still many unknowns about the new variant. The World Health Organization said it would take several weeks to get a full picture of how mutations in omicron are affecting its response to existing vaccines.

Markets plunged Tuesday morning following comments from Moderna CEO Stéphane Bancel, who told the Financial Times he expected vaccines to be less effective against the new strain.

Bancel also told CNBC on Monday that it could take months to develop and ship a vaccine that specifically targets the omicron variant.

On the data front, the final reading of the November manufacturing purchasing managers index (PMI) for the euro area stood at 58.4, a slight improvement from October’s 58.3 but below initial flash estimate of 58.6.

In terms of individual action on stock prices, Proximus climbed 6% to lead the Stoxx 600 after JPMorgan raised the share of the Belgian communications company from “neutral” to “underweight” and raised his course objective.

At the bottom of the European blue chip index, Swedish healthcare company Addlife slipped 5%.

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– CNBC’s Maggie Fitzgerald contributed to this market report.

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