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December 7, 2021: -On Monday, European stocks moved higher as investors continued to monitor developments around the omicron Covid variant and bitcoin volatility.
The pan-European Stoxx 600 added 0.5% by late morning deals, with oil and gas stocks climbing 1.9% to lead gains while tech stocks bucked the broad upward trend to fall 0.6%.
While European markets made a positive start to the trading week on Monday, the picture is more mixed at a global level.
On Monday, stocks in Asia-Pacific dropped as investors monitored bitcoin prices after they fell sharply over the weekend. Meanwhile, oil prices jumped during early Asia trade, rising more than 2% in Asia trading hours after mostly falling last week on Covid uncertainty and the OPEC+ plan to increase output in January.
Stateside, stock futures were higher after a losing week on Wall Street. Investors ditched equities amid concerns over the new omicron Covid variant and the Federal Reserve’s move to tighten policy. At least 15 U.S. states have detected the omicron coronavirus variant now.
Last Friday, the heavy selling in technology stocks extended to cryptocurrencies, with bitcoin prices volatile throughout the weekend. Bitcoin traded around $57,000 on Friday morning, but by Saturday had fallen to about $43,000. By Sunday, the world’s largest cryptocurrency had recovered some of its losses, but it still traded below the critical $50,000 level; it is currently trading around $47,491.
On the data front in Europe, German industrial orders plunged 6.9% month-on-month in October, well below the consensus forecast of a 0.5% decline, as weak foreign demand weighed heavy,
The eurozone Sentix index for December fell to 13.5 from 18.3 in November, as renewed uncertainty over the spread of Covid-19 and associated restrictions weighed on investor confidence across the bloc.
There were little by way of significant share price moves in early trade. After its full-year earnings report, British polymer company Victrex added 3.3% to lead the Stoxx 600.
At the bottom of the European blue-chip index, Deliveroo shares fell more than 7% on fears that the European Commission may impose stricter labor regulations on the gig economy.
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