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European shares rose on Monday, lifted by economically sensitive sectors ahead of a wave of central bank policy decisions that could potentially include an early end to US stimulus.

The pan-European benchmark STOXX 600 was up 0.7% after three sessions of losses. The global mood was largely upbeat after in-line US inflation data sent the S&P 500 to an all-time high on Friday.

Investor focus is on monetary policy decisions expected to be taken by the European Central Bank (ECB), the US Federal Reserve, the Bank of England and the Bank of Japan this week.

The ECB is set to halve the amount of assets it buys each month from April, according to a Reuters poll, which judged that a reprieve from high euro zone inflation by late 2022 means a rate hike is years away.

"It's going to be a relatively dovish week due to Omicron," said Willem Sels, global chief investment officer at HSBC, adding that the ECB is likely to keep its pandemic emergency purchase programme (PEPP) in place due to the emergence of the new variant.

"For the moment, markets are assuming that vaccines will work ... As we look ahead, 2022 has a solid growth outlook - we predict 4% for the euro zone, which is well above the historical average, and there's still plenty of liquidity."

Concerns about the fast-spreading Omicron variant and surging inflation have spurred bouts of selling in the markets recently, keeping the STOXX 600 nearly 3% below its all-time high hit in mid-November.

Miners offered the biggest boost, jumping 1.9% after top copper consumer China pledged to focus on economic stability and keep growth within a reasonable range next year.

Tech stocks were the second-biggest gainers, adding 1.5% after UBS upgraded software giant SAP to "buy" from "neutral", which sent the stock up 3.1%.

Vifor Pharma jumped 14.5% after Australian biopharma giant CSL confirmed it was in talks to buy the Swiss drugmaker in a deal reported by media to be worth about $7.2 billion.

Shares of UniCredit advanced 1.7% after the lender announced it wants to grow its domestic footprint and could consider tie-ups in Italy and beyond, but has no interest in the country's biggest insurer Generali and its top shareholder Mediobanca.

Norwegian aluminium maker Norsk Hydro rose 4.6% after raising its cost-cutting targets and announcing plans to pay a bigger dividend for 2021 following a jump in earnings.


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