On Friday, a basket of major European stock indices had wrapped up the session lower, though they had rounded off an eventful 2021 on an upbeat tone, gaining as much as 22 per cent in the year, as a sharp upward spiral in the bloc’s economic activity had helped a swathe of European stock indices eke out lofty gains.
Nonetheless, in the day’s downhill slide in European bourses were almost entirely galvanized by a year-end profit-taking wave, while worries over a latest surge in Omicron cases across the EU had added to further holocaust.
However, a lion’s share of traders had been absent from their trading desk ahead of New Year’s eve and some major European bourses but London and Paris were closed due to holiday. Although, volumes were thin and market participants appeared to be gauging the extent of pandemic insurgence, losses were mostly overshadowed by a dovish policy stance from European Central Bank.
European shares end lower, but gain 22 per cent in 2021
Citing statistics, in the day’s European market closure, the regional pan-European STOXX 600 inched 0.1 per cent lower, however, the index added 1.3 per cent in the week.
In tandem, London’s FTSE 100 shed 0.25 per cent to 7,384.54 and French CAC 40 curbed 0.28 per cent to 7,153.03, while Frankfurt’s DAX rose 0.21 per cent to 15,884.86. Elsewhere in the Europe, Italy’s FTSE MIB edged 0.01 per cent higher to 27,346.83, while Madrid’s benchmark IBEX 35 added 0.46 per cent to 8,713.80.
In the week, London’s FTSE 100 added 0.17 per cent, French CAC 40 advanced 0.94 per cent and Frankfurt’s DAX added 0.82 per cent, while Italy’s FTSE MIB gained 1.22 per cent and Madrid’s IBEX 35 propelled 1.75 per cent higher.
In the year, FTSE 100 gained 14.30 per cent, CAC 40 surged 28.85 per cent and DAX jumped 15.79 per cent, while FTSE MIB soared 23.00 per cent and IBEX 35 edged 7.93 per cent higher. Overall, European benchmark stock index advanced 22 per cent, marking off the best annual percentage gain since 2009, while bank and tech stocks led the tally of gains, rising 34 per cent each.
Meanwhile, referring to the ECB stimulus package, a head of research at JFD Group, Charalambous Pissouros said, “The pandemic-related rescue packages allowed European banks to absorb the shock caused by the contraction in economic activity at the start of the year.
With (ECB) President Lagarde saying that they are unlikely to start raising interest rates in 2022, European banks may continue to benefit”.