European shares rise as China COVID optimism lifts mood

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Energy and healthcare shares led European stocks higher on Tuesday, following a strong handover from Asia, where sentiment was boosted by speculation that China could ease COVID-19 restrictions following recent protests.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index was up 0.3% as of 0805 GMT. The index marked its worst session in nearly two weeks on Monday on concerns about protests in China and COVID restrictions hitting economic growth in the world’s second-largest economy.

Asian shares rose strongly as they looked to a press briefing from Chinese health officials to raise bets that recent public unrest could lead to an earlier easing of COVID-19 restrictions.

China’s National Health Commission issued a notice calling for increasing COVID vaccinations for the elderly and reducing the time between vaccinations, while a health official said the unrest stemmed from overzealous implementation rather than the measures themselves.

Among economic signals, investors will be keeping an eye on German inflation data for November – expected to decline from the month earlier – later in the day, as well as final November consumer confidence data for the euro zone.

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