European markets were lackluster on Monday even as gains across the region ended higher, helped by moves in the tech and healthcare stocks.
Markets in Europe were slightly higher Monday but not as strong as was later seen in the US stocks, with mixed signals across the region not helped by holiday-thinned trading.
With London and Ireland's markets closed for the holidays on Monday, thinned trading made for muted gains across the region.
The pan European Stoxx 600 gained 0.62%, with year-to-date gains moving above 21.7% to see the index track major US markets. The S&P 500 is on course for up to 27% in YTD returns, while the Nasdaq composite and the Dow Jones Industrial Average are tracking yearly returns of 23% and 18% respectively.
With the market left with only four days to the yearly close, the pan European index could rally to a record high. At Monday’s close, it was at 22% YTD, which means Europe's main index is just 1% away from achieving the milestone.
Elsewhere in Europe, Germany's DAX rose 0.5% as advances in technology and real estate stocks helped push the index to a 30-day high. France's CAC 40 ended the day largely unchanged after initial gains, while traders registered slight gains in Switzerland, Italy, Russia, Belgium and the Netherlands.
Apart from tech stocks and real estate, there were also gains in the healthcare, and construction sectors.
Although markets are expected to open higher on Tuesday, there are still jitters around the Omicron variant. The UK and France have reported over 100,000 daily new cases of the milder yet more highly transmissible new variant, raising concerns about potential short-term restrictions.
The outlook is also replicated across the US, though no blanket restrictions are expected after President Joe Biden said this week that individual states would take the necessary steps to contain the spread of the variant.
Analysts expect trading this week will be largely transitional, with low volumes.