Tech and healthcare stocks lead European stocks lower as Omicron cases swell

The DAX chart of the German stock index is pictured on the stock exchange in Frankfurt, Germany on December 27, 2021. REUTERS / Staff

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  • Banks and tech surpass the STOXX 600 YTD
  • Deutsche Bank slips on BaFin fine of around $ 10 million
  • Global COVID-19 infections hit record high

December 29 (Reuters) – European stocks edged down on Wednesday as record coronavirus infections left investors wary and falling tech, health care and travel values ​​led the sell off in thin holiday trading .

The pan-European STOXX 600 (.STOXX) slipped 0.1% with healthcare stocks Novo Nordisk (NOVOb.CO), Novartis (NOVN.S) and Roche among the biggest drag on the index, although the Technology sub-index (.SX8P) fell the most, down 1.1%.

Most other European stock markets fell. The German DAX (.GDAXI), the French CAC 40 (.FCHI) and the Spanish IBEX (.IBEX) lost between 0.7% and 0.2%, only the British FTSE 100 (.FTSE) gaining 0, 6%.

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Global COVID-19 infections reached an all-time high in the previous seven-day period, Reuters data showed on Wednesday as the Omicron variant spiraled out of control, keeping workers at home and overwhelming testing centers . Read more

“The European restrictions will have a significant impact, but for now the markets overwhelmingly rate the (Omicron) variant as a smoother incarnation, despite its easier contractibility,” said Jeffrey Halley, senior market analyst at OANDA.

Wall Street strengthened, however, and oil prices edged up as optimism overwhelmed concerns about Omicron’s impact on global economies.

Britain’s FTSE 100 (.FTSE) jumped 0.6% on the rise in oil prices and as traders ruled out a foreclosure of the country before year-end.

“With market activity reduced for the holiday season, investors continue to tentatively forecast a global recovery hitting a minor bump, not a pothole,” added Halley.

The STOXX 600 saw a large rise in 2021 in response to accommodative monetary policy and stimulus measures, with tech (.SX8P) and financials (.SX7P) stocks the biggest gains.

However, analysts have mixed opinions going into 2022, as inflation fears, COVID-19 risks and the energy crisis persist. Many believe that inflation will push central banks out of political accommodation sooner than expected.

Deutsche Bank (DBKGn.DE) fell 1.4% after the German financial regulator said it fined the bank around $ 10 million for checks linked to the euro offered interbank rate, a setback for the country’s largest lender in its attempts to restore its reputation. Read more

BPER Banca (EMII.MI) gained 0.7% after agreeing to hire 550 people and make 300 temporary contracts permanent in addition to the 1,700 departures that Italy’s fifth bank had already announced in September.

Germany’s BMW fell 0.8% on plans to create up to 6,000 jobs next year to prepare for growing demand for its electric vehicles, the automaker’s chief executive told the Muenchner daily. Merkur.

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Reporting by Anisha Sircar and Shashank Nayar in Bangalore; Editing by Devika Syamnath, Ramakrishnan M. and Barbara Lewis

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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