ECONOMY

European stocks kick off 2022 at record highs

european-stocks-kick-off-2022-at-record-highs

European shares hit all-time highs on Monday, starting the year in an upbeat mood on hopes of steady economic recovery despite soaring cases of the Omicron coronavirus variant.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index was up 0.6% at 490.76 points, as of 0821 GMT, surpassing its November record high of 490.58.

The benchmark recorded a 22.4% jump in 2021, its second-best yearly performance since 2009, as elevated flow of economic stimulus, earnings growth and steady vaccine rollouts helped investors pour into stock markets.

Bourses in Germany, France, Italy and Spain were up between 0.6% and 0.8%, while London markets were closed.

Among sectors, automakers led morning gains with a 1.3% rise after monthly sales reports from several global automakers.

German airlines Lufthansa jumped 5% after Citi upgraded the stock rating to “buy” from “sell.” [Reuters]