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Tech and healthcare help European shares above one-month highs

European shares drop in thin trade as pandemic uncertainties rise
European shares drop in thin trade as pandemic uncertainties rise   -   Copyright  Thomson Reuters 2021   -  
By Reuters

<div> <p>By Anisha Sircar</p> <p> -European shares ended higher in thin trading on Monday, led by gains in technology and healthcare stocks, with Roche rising on regulatory approval for <span class="caps">COVID</span>-19-related products.</p> <p>The pan-European <span class="caps">STOXX</span> 600 rose 0.7% with technology shares and defensive sectors like healthcare and construction <.SXOP> leading gains.</p> <p>The technology sub-index is on-track to be the top performer among European sectors in 2021 and is set to gain around 33%, followed by banking shares. </p> <p>Markets globally also inched higher in thin trading with the S&P 500 hitting record highs over easing concerns of the Omicron coronavirus variant. [MKTS/GLOB]</p> <p>Following a 4% drop in 2020, the <span class="caps">STOXX</span> 600 is on course for a 21.7% jump this year after encouraging study results on the Omicron variant drove gains last week.</p> <p>“Low volume and no new surprising headlines usually allow asset prices to follow the prevailing path of least resistance,” Charalambos Pissouros, head of research at <span class="caps">JFD</span> Group, said. </p> <p>Still, the high transmissibility of the new variant remains a concern, with rising cases worldwide threatening recovery.</p> <p>France hit another <span class="caps">COVID</span>-19 infection record on Friday, while airlines around the world cancelled more than 4,500 flights over the weekend and China reported its highest daily rise in local infections in 21 months.</p> <p>“Most nations may prefer not to tighten restrictions further this week in order not to spoil the holidays, but this could be the case early next year,” Pissouros said.</p> <p>Among individual stocks, high-tech industrial group Groupe Gorgé jumped 6.4% after confirming an indicative offer for its acquisition of iXblue.</p> <p>Roche added 0.9% after Swiss drugs regulator Swissmedic approved Ronapreve, an antibody treatment jointly developed with Regeneron to treat <span class="caps">COVID</span>-19 patients. </p> <p>On Friday, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration granted emergency use authorization to Roche’s <span class="caps">COVID</span>-19 at-home rapid test that can be used by people as young as 14.</p> <p><span class="caps">CNH</span> Industrial extended a three-day rally, adding 2.5% to hit a record high after on Thursday approving the spin-off of its truck-making business, Iveco.</p> <p>British, Australian and Hong Kong markets were closed for holidays. </p> </div>