By Steve Goldstein
European stocks on Tuesday were enjoying their second-best day of the year, rallying on signs that the omicron variant of coronavirus might not be as harmful as initially feared.
The Stoxx Europe 600 /zigman2/quotes/210599654/delayed XX:SXXP -1.02% rose 1.7% to 476.82, on track for the best single-day advance since the 2.1% gain on March 8.
Of the major regional indexes, the German DAX /zigman2/quotes/210597999/delayed DX:DAX -1.32% surged 1.8%, the French CAC 40 /zigman2/quotes/210597958/delayed FR:PX1 -0.82% surged 2% and the U.K. FTSE 100 /zigman2/quotes/210598409/delayed UK:UKX -1.17% added 1.1%.
Tech stocks led Tuesday’s rally, with semiconductor equipment maker ASML /zigman2/quotes/206208657/delayed NL:ASML -2.83% advancing 6%, and Aixtron /zigman2/quotes/209494968/delayed XE:AIXA -2.41% also rising 6%.
“The reasons for today’s positive tone are numerous: reduced concerns over the severity of omicron; improved confidence over China’s response to the property sector woes; and a swath of strong global macro data,” said David Rosenberg, chief economist and strategist at Rosenberg Research.
Chinese trade data and German industrial production reports helped buoy sentiment, which in large part was carried forward by optimism from Dr. Anthony Fauci that the omicron variant, so far, isn’t more harmful than other variants.
China’s decision on Monday to cut its reserve ratio for banks also helped sentiment.