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European shares set to end bumpy week with gains

The German share price index DAX graph is pictured at the stock exchange in Frankfurt, Germany, November 30, 2021. REUTERS/Staff

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  • Travel, oil stocks lead morning gains
  • Dassault soars on France-UAE Rafale deal
  • Orphan Biovitrum plunges

Dec 3 (Reuters) – European shares inched up on Friday and were set to end a volatile week higher as investors bought stocks hammered by fears around the Omicron variant, although gains were largely muted ahead of the U.S. monthly jobs data.

The pan-European STOXX 600 (.STOXX) climbed 0.1% after swinging between losses and gains all week on worries over the potential impact of the newly detected coronavirus variant on economic recovery.

“We’ve got two immovable forces going head-to-head – the old adage that markets hate uncertainty, and traders’ love of the dips,” said Craig Erlam, senior market analyst at OANDA.

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“The deep sell-offs are being seen as a big opportunity, while investors hope the variant doesn’t turn out to be too bad.”

European stocks are set to end the week with slim gains as the market outlook has been clouded by fresh restrictions due to the new variant and spiralling price pressures ahead of the winter.

The European Central Bank may set policy for a relatively short period at this month’s meeting given heightened uncertainty, President Christine Lagarde told Reuters. read more

Lagarde, however, reiterated the view that inflation will decline in 2022, adding that it may have already peaked.

All eyes are on the U.S. jobs data that is likely to show employers stepped up hiring in November, giving the economy a strong boost, though worker shortages remained a constraint. read more

IHS Markit’s survey showed euro zone business activity accelerated last month, but the bounce may be temporary as demand growth weakened and fears about the Omicron coronavirus variant put a dent in optimism. read more

Travel stocks (.SXTP) rose 1.3%, recovering from last week’s sharp losses after fresh curbs. read more

Oil stocks (.SXEP) advanced 1.2%, tracking crude prices, after OPEC+ said it would review supply additions ahead of its next meeting if the virus dents demand. read more

Among individual stocks, Dassault Aviation (AM.PA) surged 8.3% to the top of the STOXX 600 after France sealed a deal for 80 Rafale warplanes with the United Arab Emirates – the largest order ever for the warplane. read more

German insurer Allianz (ALVG.DE) gained almost 2% after it raised its mid-term targets and announced a new dividend policy.

Swedish Orphan Biovitrum (Sobi) (SOBIV.ST) plunged 22.8% after U.S. private equity firm Advent International and Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund said they were withdrawing their bid for the drugmaker. read more

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Reporting by Anisha Sircar in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur and Shinjini Ganguli

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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