Defensive actions, ‘Santa Rally’ back European actions | Money

Risk appetite remains strong at year-end, analysts say, despite the threat that the Omicron variant of the coronavirus will hamper a global economy already facing slowing growth. – Reuters photo

BRUSSELS, December 28 – European stocks hit a five-week high today, encouraging Wall Street to hit record highs overnight, even as Omicron worries remained with France tightening restrictions and Covid-19 cases increasing in Spain and Britain.

The pan-European STOXX 600 rose 0.6%, after adding 0.6% in its previous session, to a more than a month high.

Risk appetite remains strong until the end of the year, analysts say, despite the threat that the Omicron variant of the coronavirus will hamper a global economy already facing slowing growth, bottlenecks in the economy. supply and soaring prices.

The STOXX 600 is considering its second straight session of gains in the final week of 2021 after adding 2.6% in December so far, on track for its best month since August.

“Given the rich valuations after an enthusiastic, if not euphoric, bull run in 2021, it is not unreasonable to suggest that this Santa Claus rally crosses the bar higher,” said Vishnu Varathan, head of economy and finance. strategy at Mizuho Bank.

Defensive stocks, including healthcare and industrials, led the gains, with almost all sectors trading in positive territory.

Healthcare stocks rose 0.8% to their highest level in nearly three months and were aiming for their biggest two-day gain in more than a week. The sector has added 25 percent this year, surpassing the benchmark’s 22 percent so far.

Spain’s coronavirus infection rate topped 1,000 cases per 100,000 people for the first time on Monday, fueled by the rapidly spreading Omicron variant.

While England will not get any new Covid-19 restrictions until the end of 2021, the French government has said it will tighten measures, although there is no New Year’s Eve curfew. An. The blue chip CAC 40 rose 0.6% at the start of the trading day.

The rapid increase in Omicron business could put the brakes on, or even derail, central banks’ tightening plan for next year, Varathan added.

Shares of Italian Alerion Clean Energy rose 4.4% after its controlling family could sell up to 43% stake in the renewable energy operator in a deal worth of around 800 million euros.

Swiss specialty chemicals maker Clariant has announced it will buy the assets of German competitor BASF in North America in a $ 60 million deal that will help grow its sustainable business. BASF and Clariant shares rose 1.0 percent and 0.6 percent respectively.

Telecom Italia climbed 0.6% after an Italian ministry said it would use a proposal put forward by a consortium that includes the company as a model in the nationwide tender for the cloud it plans to launch during the first weeks of 2022. – Reuters

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