European Markets Open Higher in Quiet Tuesday Trading

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European Markets Open Higher in Quiet Tuesday Trading
Credit: © Reuters.

by Daniel Shvartsman

European markets opened higher in Tuesday trading as general market bullishness - or complacency appears to have set in for investors.

At 10:40 CET (940 GMT) the DAX traded up .7%, the CAC 40 was up around .5%, as was the Euro Stoxx 50 , while the FTSE MIB was up .85% and the IBEX 35 traded .85% higher. This comes on the heels of a moderate gain for European indices to kick off the holiday week, and the S&P 500 closing at an all-time high during the U.S. session. The FTSE 100 remains closed in observance of Boxing Day.

Among the Euro Stoxx 50 winners are Iberdrola (MC: IBE ) (+1.9%), perhaps in response to a decline in energy prices as Europe has booked more LNG cargoes from the U.S. to address the recent shortage. Italian utility Enel (MI: ENEI ) was also up, trading 1.3% higher. Koninklijke Philips NV (AS: PHG ) is also up 1.1%, though still well below November levels after news of FDA concerns over recalled ventilators. Prosus (OTC: PROSF ) leads losers on the index, as the internet conglomerate is down 2.2%, likely related to Tencent Holdings Ltd (HK: 0700 ) trading lower on the day as concerns over recent Chinese regulations catch up to the stock.

Coronavirus case counts remain on watch across Europe, but the market seems to be more focused on continental governments' lighter responses. France has imposed restrictions on public gatherings and remote work requirements, but is leaving schools open; Spain has so far responded to record case counts by reimposing the requirement to wear masks outside but no other national changes. While this is in part response to the reports that the omicron variant poses a lesser risk of serious illness, especially for vaccinated individuals, it may also reflect people's fatigue with harsher restrictions. In any case, the market's response has been favorable.

Oil traded higher as well Tuesday morning, following a strong finish yesterday. Brent Oil Futures are up .7% at 10:40 CET (920 GMT), with Eni SpA (MI: ENI ) up .9%, and Royal Dutch Shell (LON: RDSa ) PLC Class A (AS: RDSa ) and TotalEnergies SE (PA: TTEF ) each up .5%.

Among active stocks, Genfit (PA: GNFT ) is down 2.6%, though still well up from when it announced a partnership with Ipsen SA (PA: IPN ). Veolia Environnement VE SA (PA: VIE ) moved up 2%, reaching a new 52-week high. Novavax (NASDAQ: NVAX ) Inc (TG: NVV1 ) (-3.7%) and BioNTech SE (DE: 22UAy ) (-1.7%) traded off on the German market, continuing the recent slide for vaccine makers, while HelloFresh SE (DE: HFGG ) traded up 2%. Healthcare company Grifols SA ADR (NASDAQ: GRFS ) also traded 2% higher in early trading.

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