European Stocks Higher; Moderna Vaccine News Helps Sentiment

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Investing.com – European stock markets traded higher Tuesday, rebounding after the previous session’s hefty losses, but concerns about the risks associated with the Omicron Covid-19 variant remain.

At 3:55 AM ET (0855 GMT), the DAX in Germany traded 0.7% higher, the CAC 40 in France rose 0.8% and the U.K.’s FTSE 100 climbed 1%. 

Helping the tone Tuesday was the news from Moderna (NASDAQ:MRNA) that the U.S. drugmaker could develop a booster shot to protect against the Omicron variant in a relatively short period.

“It only needs minor adjustments for Omicron. I don’t expect any problems,” CEO Stephane Bancel said in an interview with the Swiss newspaper TagesAnzeiger published on Tuesday.

The European Union has also approved the use of Novavax ‘s (NASDAQ:NVAX) vaccine in people aged 18 or over, making it the fifth shot available for use within the bloc.

European equity indexes sold off sharply on Monday, with the DAX in Germany dropping almost 2%, after various countries in the region adopted restrictive measures to stop the spread of the virulent Omicron strain of the Covid-19 virus, including the Netherlands imposing a full lockdown of non-essential stores.

New Zealand delayed the planned reopening of its international border on Tuesday because of the sweeping spread of Omicron around the world, the U.S. advised its citizens against travel to eight destinations, including Spain and Finland, and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he would tighten coronavirus curbs if needed but held off from actually doing so.

In corporate news, Sanofi (NASDAQ:SNY) stock fell 0.2% after the French drugmaker announced its intentions to buy Amunix Pharmaceuticals for an upfront payment of about $1 billion, marking the latest acquisition by the French drugmaker in the U.S. biotech sphere.

Additionally, Renault (PA:RENA) stock rose 1% after Reuters reported that the French carmaker is set to announce a joint venture with Geely Holding to jointly produce the Chinese automaker’s hybrid vehicles in South Korea.

Turning to economic data, the latest GfK German consumer climate index slumped to -6.8 from -1.6 the previous month as the latest Covid restrictions dented confidence.

Oil prices rose Tuesday, rebounding after a couple of days of sharp selling, and investors now await U.S. crude oil supply data from the American Petroleum Institute, due later in the day.

By 3:55 AM ET, U.S. crude futures traded 0.6% higher at $69.05 a barrel, while the Brent contract rose 0.3% to $71.71. 

Additionally, gold futures rose 0.2% to $1,797.35/oz, while EUR/USD climbed 0.2% higher to 1.1300.

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