DUBAI: European shares ended higher on Tuesday, recovering Monday’s losses, with a jump in commodity-linked and travel stocks offsetting concerns about the spread of the Omicron coronavirus variant.
The pan-European STOXX 600 added 1.4%, with miners and oil stocks among the biggest winners amid higher copper and crude prices. Travel shares also gained.
“Santa was nowhere to be seen in the doom and gloom yesterday, and a lot of people are buying the dip today, but investors are so nervous about what’s happening that the slightest bit of news is tipping their hand,” said Danni Hewson, financial analyst at AJ Bell.
The benchmark STOXX 600 rebounded after two days of losses, with fears of COVID-related restrictions across Europe continuing to weigh on sentiment, while a lack of liquidity ahead of year-end holidays could add to volatility.
London’s FTSE 100 rose 1.4% on strong gains in energy firms Royal Dutch Shell and BP and miners Rio Tinto and BHP Group.
Meanwhile, British retail sales growth fell sharply in the first half of December as Omicron concerns kept shoppers away, a monthly survey showed.
German consumer morale is expected to further darken at the start of 2022 as the new coronavirus variant clouds the outlook for Europe’s largest economy, a new survey showed.
Additionally on Tuesday, New Zealand postponed its border re-opening plans until the end of February.
Among stocks, semiconductor firm ASML Holding jumped 3.6% to be the biggest boost on the benchmark European index after US chipmaker Micron Technology beat market expectations in its trading update..
Peers ASM International, Infineon Technologies and STMicroelectronics rose between 0.5% and 1.6%.
Sporting goods makers Adidas and Puma added 0.6% and 0.7% respectively following Nike’s quarterly beat. Bollore leaped 11.5% to the top of the STOXX 600 after the conglomerate owned by billionaire Vincent Bollore’s family received a $6.4 billion offer for its African logistics assets.
Sanofi gained 0.9% after announcing it would buy Amunix Pharmaceuticals for about $1 billion.
Dutch financial services company ING rose 3.2% after saying it would quit the French retail banking business, in a move that could affect 460 employees.