European shares end the week higher as Pfizer’s travel stocks pill rise By Reuters – News Couple

European shares end the week higher as Pfizer’s travel stocks pill rise By Reuters

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A global stock market operator Euronext analyst works in the center of the Market Services Control Room at Euronext’s new headquarters in La Defense business and financial district in Courbevoie near Paris, France, October 30, 2015. REUTE

By Shreeshi Sanyal

(Reuters) – European stocks ended another week of gains on Friday, led by gains in travel stocks after a positive update from the US drugmaker. Pfizer on its own pill for COVID-19 and amid continued optimism about earnings season.

The pan-European finished flat, but posted a weekly gain of 1.7%, the fifth consecutive week in the green.

Shares of European travel companies jumped 1.4% as investors around the world praised Pfizer Inc’s (NYSE:) trial of an experimental antiviral tablet for COVID-19, which has been shown to reduce the risk of serious illness by 89%.

The news lifted shares of Swiss duty-free retailer Dufry 10.1%, to their best day since November 9, 2020, while also sending AstraZeneca (NASDAQ:) shares lower.

“News out today from the US that Pfizer has developed a COVID-19 pill, which is 89% effective in preventing hospitalization, may affect AstraZeneca’s stock price in one touch, but it has largely sparked airline and hospitality turbocharging. Michael Hewson, chief market analyst at CMC Markets said:

Cautious moves by the US Federal Reserve and the Bank of England, and similar comments from the European Central Bank chief helped the overall sentiment this week.

Data from the US Labor Department showed that employment increased more than expected in October, as headwinds from an increase in COVID-19 infections eased over the summer, also supporting the upbeat mood for the day.

On Friday, the French benchmark broke through the 7,000-point barrier for the first time ever, rising 0.8%.

The blue-chip index was led by gains in dry (PA :), Hermes and L’Oreal.

Reversing early declines to extend new peaks, investors shrugged off disappointing industrial production data in Europe’s largest economy.

Gains in the STOXX 600 were led by Allegro, which jumped 10.6% after the Polish e-commerce group agreed to buy Czech online retailer Mall Group for €881 million.

Spain’s CaixaBank also rose 1.6% after it said it had sold its entire 9.92% stake in Austrian bank Erste Group for 1.503 billion euros. Erste added 5%.

The recovery in London-listed banks, which fell after the Bank of England moved on Thursday to maintain interest rates, saw London gain 0.3%.

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