European stocks climb on hopes Omicron variant may not be as bad as feared

European stocks climb on hopes Omicron variant may not be as bad as feared

European equities advanced Monday on the hopes that the Omicron coronavirus variant might not be as damaging as initially feared, traders said.

Oil rebounded after crude giant Saudi Aramco lifted the prices it charges Asian and US customers, in a sign of confidence in the Covid-sapped energy demand outlook.

London equities went up 0.8 percent in late morning deals despite the introduction of tighter UK air travel restrictions due to Omicron.

The UK travel industry may have been buffeted by another chill wind of more testing requirements, but airlines and hotel groups are riding higher amid fears that the new Omicron variant may not cause serious illness, said Susannah Streeter, Hargreaves Lansdown analyst.

Global stocks had sunk Friday on weak US payrolls data and heightened Covid concerns that continue to linger.

Asia faced a mixed performance on Monday, but was also roiled by struggling Chinese tech firms.

The spread of the Omicron variant threatens to derail the general economic recovery, according to Richard Hunter, head of markets at Interactive Investor.

The Omicron variant has been detected across the globe but hasn't been reported yet, with authorities racing to determine how contagious it is and how effective existing vaccines are.

Anthony Fauci, top US pandemic advisor, said on Sunday that preliminary data on the severity of the Omicron variant is a bit encouraging. Hong Kong stocks fell Monday as the news that Chinese ride-hailing giant Didi Chuxing would start the process of delisting from the New York Stock Exchange sent shares in tech firms tumbling.

The move comes after a sweeping Chinese regulatory crackdown over the past year that has slowed the wings of major internet firms that have huge influence on consumers' lives - including Alibaba and Tencent.

The Hang Seng Tech index, which represents the 30 largest tech companies in the southern Chinese city, fell sharply on Monday.

The uncertainty over the future of the Chinese property market in Hong Kong was compounded by the fact that there was no guarantee that the Group would have enough funds to fulfill its financial obligations. The shares of the Chinese property giant fell by up to 20 percent on the news, according to Bloomberg.

After a weekend collapse, the price of digital currency continued to struggle on Monday, as investors fled risky assets.