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Stock markets: UK, European stocks rebound despite Omicron

By Indrabati Lahiri

13:46, 29 November 2021

Stock market chart
Stock market chart – Photo: Shutter Stock

UK stocks inched up by midmorning Monday, as shares recovered from Friday’s shockwaves caused by new concerns about the new Omicron strain of Covid-19. The market was further bolstered by reports of faster than expected rollouts of booster vaccination programmes and the UK taking immediate precautions to quell a potential surge in new Covid-19 cases, by banning flights from several African countries where the new strain was detected.

European stocks also reflected the same sentiment with the Euro Stoxx 50 gaining on the back of Omicron sell-offs even as the market braced for a jittery week ahead.

Overnight in Asia, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index fell.

The S&P 500 opened almost 1% higher as US trading began for the week.


4,600.80 Price
-0.040% 1D Chg, %
Long position overnight fee -0.0262%
Short position overnight fee 0.0040%
Overnight fee time 22:00 (UTC)
Spread 0.8


36,219.20 Price
-0.060% 1D Chg, %
Long position overnight fee -0.0262%
Short position overnight fee 0.0040%
Overnight fee time 22:00 (UTC)
Spread 2.2


16,197.90 Price
-0.490% 1D Chg, %
Long position overnight fee -0.0259%
Short position overnight fee 0.0040%
Overnight fee time 22:00 (UTC)
Spread 30.0


16,757.40 Price
-0.190% 1D Chg, %
Long position overnight fee -0.0221%
Short position overnight fee -0.0001%
Overnight fee time 22:00 (UTC)
Spread 1.5

What’s interesting today: AG Barr announced that it believes its full year earnings will be higher than earlier forecasted, on strong trading activity seen since September, but cautioned “the fast moving situation in relation to Covid-19 remains a risk.” Banco Santander announced that Mike Regnier, the chief executive of Yorkshire Building Society would be their new UK head.

Why are stocks up today?

Sell-offs due to the Omicron stain: UK and European indices are refbounding following selloffs Friday over the recent discovery of the Omicron strain of Covid-19 in South Africa.

What is your sentiment on UK100?

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  • What this means: Investors have been more concerned about the uncertainty that global markets face due to this new strain, which have led to widespread sell-offs as they wait for more information on how this could potentially affect markets. With scientists working on determining how infectious the Omicron strain is, speculations of markets facing turbulence for at least another two weeks have surfaced.

Stock markets: key highlights

  • The FTSE 100 gained 1.19%, to touch 7127.7 points
  • The Euro Stoxx 50 reflected the same sentiment by gaining 1.32% to reach 4140.6 points
  • Germany’s DAX index climbed up 0.83% to 15384.0 points
  • France’s CAC 40 index inched up 1.25% to 6823.8 points
  • The leading sectors were retail and electronic technology, whereas finance and mining lagged behind

Market sentiment

  • The CBOE Volatility Index, or VIX, a measure of expected fluctuations in US stocks, dropped 14.57% to 24.43, as the market stabilised after a surge in investor anxiety Friday
  • The US dollar index dropped to $96.330
  • The US 10-year bond yield index inched down to 1.548%

Top stock gainers: UK and Europe

  • In the UK, the best performing companies were BT Group, Johnson Matthey and Compass Group
  • BT Group shares rallied on speculations of renewed interest by Indian conglomerate Reliance Industries  
  • Johnson Matthey shares gained following the group’s discussions with Tata Chemicals in order to purchase their battery arm
  • In Europe, the top stock gainers were Munich Re, Allianz and SAP
  • Munich Re shares rose after the insurance group planned to raise term insurance premiums by approximately 40%
  • Allianz recently announced the appointment of a new chief operating officer, Colm Holmes

Top stock losers: UK and Europe

  • On the FTSE 100, the worst performing companies were Hargreaves Lansdown, Polymetal International and London Stock Exchange Group
  • Hargreaves Lansdown shares suffered after a number of hedge funds bet against them
  • On the Euro Stoxx 50, the top stock losers were AXA, Inditex and EssilorLuxottica
  • AXA recently announced a share repurchase programmeworth approximately 1.4 bn
  • Inditex recently announced some corporate restructuring plans worth approximately 30m

Stocks news: what you need to know today

Read more: Omicron: UK introduces measures to combat Covid-19 variant

Markets in this article

4.910 USD
-0.1 -2.060%
4.910 USD
-0.1 -2.060%
Banco Santander
3.935 USD
-0.015 -0.380%
Banco Santander
3.935 USD
-0.015 -0.380%

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The difference between trading assets and CFDs
The main difference between CFD trading and trading assets, such as commodities and stocks, is that you don’t own the underlying asset when you trade on a CFD.
You can still benefit if the market moves in your favour, or make a loss if it moves against you. However, with traditional trading you enter a contract to exchange the legal ownership of the individual shares or the commodities for money, and you own this until you sell it again.
CFDs are leveraged products, which means that you only need to deposit a percentage of the full value of the CFD trade in order to open a position. But with traditional trading, you buy the assets for the full amount. In the UK, there is no stamp duty on CFD trading, but there is when you buy stocks, for example.
CFDs attract overnight costs to hold the trades (unless you use 1-1 leverage), which makes them more suited to short-term trading opportunities. Stocks and commodities are more normally bought and held for longer. You might also pay a broker commission or fees when buying and selling assets direct and you’d need somewhere to store them safely.
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