European stocks gain ground despite Delta variant concerns

·2 min read
New health secretary Sajid Javid said the new date for lockdowns lifting would not be brought back. Photo: Yui Mok/PA via Getty Images
New health secretary Sajid Javid said the new date for lockdowns lifting would not be brought back. Photo: Yui Mok/PA via Getty Images

European markets closed in the green on Tuesday, following a day of losses, as fears about the Delta coronavirus variant as well as the health of the travel sector going into summer season continued to circulate. 

The FTSE 100 (^FTSE) was trading up 0.3% by the close in London, having moved around 0.6% higher earlier in the session. Meanwhile, France's CAC (^FCHI) rose 0.2% and Germany's DAX (^GDAXI) was up 1%. 

Germany's first index was lifted by strong inflation data.

Across the pond, US stocks were still mixed by the closing bell in Europe. The S&P 500 (^GSPC) was trading 0.2% higher, the Dow (YM=F) drifted 0.4% higher, and the tech-led Nasdaq (NQ=F) was gliding close to flat.

"Investors have not lost their appetite for riskier assets as they continue to use every single opportunity to bag bargains, and this continues to result in the US equity markets reaching another record highs," said Naeem Aslam, chief market analyst at AvaTrade. "For instance, the S&P 500 closed at another record high yesterday."

On Monday, Spain said that it will start to demand a negative COVID test, or proof of vaccination from British tourists who are looking to enter Mallorca, Ibiza, and the surrounding Balearic islands.

Meanwhile, Portugal’s government has also announced measures for UK tourists, requesting the need to quarantine for 14 days upon arrival if they are not fully vaccinated or cannot show a negative PCR test.

It comes as the Delta variant, which was first detected in India, continues to spread across Britain.

In the week since 21 June, what would have been "freedom day" in Britain, coronavirus cases are up 59% in week-on-week figures. Currently in the UK, the Delta strain, which was first detected in India, makes up more than 99% of reported COVID cases, data from Public Health England (PHE) showed.

Following the data, the new health secretary, Sajid Javid, confirmed yesterday that the final COVID restrictions will not be lifted until 19 July.

Javid revealed the government’s decision not to plump for an earlier easing of restrictions on 5 July in his first Commons statement since replacing his disgraced predecessor Matt Hancock in the job.

Read more: Travel stocks slump amid rising COVID variant concerns across Europe

Asian markets dipped for the second day in a row overnight. Hong Kong's Hang Seng index (^HSI) fell 1% and the SSE Composite index (000001.SS) was down 0.9% when markets closed in Asia. Japan's Nikkei (^N225) was also trading 0.8% lower. 

The losses came even after the World Bank raised its forecast of Chinese economic growth. 

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