European stock markets edged cautiously higher Thursday, as investors continued to monitor developments surrounding the Covid virus and ahead of the release of important U.S. employment data.
At 3:35 AM ET (0835 GMT), the DAX in Germany traded 0.1% higher, the CAC 40 in France rose 0.3% and the U.K.’s climbed 0.2%.
Global stock markets have been buoyed this week by indications that the Omicron variant of the coronavirus may produce a milder reaction in patients, even if it is more transmissible, along with studies from drugmakers that the current vaccines can cope with the virus’s mutations.
That said, many countries in Europe are still battling to stop a fourth wave of the pandemic by imposing tougher Covid-19 restrictions, including England recommending people to work from home and Denmark closing restaurants, bars and schools.
In corporate news, Lagardere stock rose 4.3% after French entertainment Vivendi announced it will acquire activist fund Amber Capital’s stake of just under 18% in the media group in the coming days and then file a full takeover offer.
Deutsche Bank stock fell 1.5% after the Wall Street Journal reported that the German lender may have violated a criminal settlement with the U.S. Justice Department by its silence over an internal complaint.
Rolls-Royce stock fell 2.9% despite the U.K. engineering firm reporting an improved trading performance, which resulted in a return to positive free cash flow in the third quarter. The company was severely hit by the pandemic due to its exposure to the airline industry. Improved cash flow in the current year is due partly to the fact that 300 million pounds of liabilities have been deferred to the 2022 fiscal year.
The FTSE MIB climbed down by 0.10% to 26,777.20. In the cash markets, the DAX Germany was trading down by 0.36% to 15,631.65. CAC 40 in France fell by 0.17% to 7003.37 while the FTSE 100 in the U.K. was down by 0.27% to 7,316.35 ,at the time of writing.