U.S. retail sales beat expectations in October By Reuters

Miners lift European shares higher; focus on cenbank meetings By Reuters


© Reuters. The German share price index DAX graph is pictured at the stock exchange in Frankfurt, Germany, December 13, 2021. REUTERS/Staff

By Anisha Sircar

(Reuters) -European shares ticked up from one-week lows on Tuesday as mining stocks rose, while investors focussed on central bank meetings this week and kept a wary eye on developments around the Omicron coronavirus variant.

The U.S. Federal Reserve is expected to signal a faster pullback of asset purchases at the end of its two-day meeting on Wednesday, while the European Central Bank and the Bank of England will meet on Thursday to determine the course for their monetary policies into 2022.

“Equity markets will stay skittish as there is tension between Omicron and newsflow on one side, and a busy calendar for central banks on the other, while we stand between two earnings seasons,” said Nick Nelson, head of European equity strategy at UBS.

“But we’re no longer talking about the same restrictions we had in Q1 2021 or 2020, so in the near term, restrictions across Europe will only be a modest drag on growth.”

Germany’s Ifo institute slashed the country’s GDP growth forecast for 2022, saying a fourth COVID-19 wave and persisting supply bottlenecks are slowing down Europe’s largest economy.

European stocks fell in the past four sessions on concerns about tighter restrictions to curb the spread of the Omicron variant and withdrawal of the pandemic-era monetary policy measures.

At least one person died in Britain after contracting the Omicron variant, the first publicly confirmed death globally from the rapidly spreading strain.

The pan-European rose 0.3%, with miners jumping 1.0% on strong aluminium prices. [MET/L]

Among banks, UniCredit was the top performer, firming 1.9% after HSBC raised the Italian lender’s target price.

ArcelorMittal (NYSE:) advanced 4.4% after the world’s largest steelmaker announced plans to repurchase some of its debt.

Vifor extended gains from Monday, surging 13.2%, after agreeing to be bought by Australian biopharma giant CSL (OTC:) for $11.7 billion.

Meanwhile, AutoStore Holdings dropped 12.2% after British online supermarket group Ocado (LON:) Group said it won a patent infringement lawsuit filed by the Norwegian robotics firm last year.

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