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European markets head for mixed open as investors weigh up omicron risks

LONDON — European stocks are expected to open in mixed territory on Tuesday as investors weigh new developments relating to the omicron Covid variant.

The U.K.’s FTSE index is seen opening 10 points lower at 7,230, Germany’s DAX 32 points higher at 15,426, France’s CAC 40 up 10 points at 6,889 and Italy’s FTSE MIB 137 points higher at 26,583, according to data from IG.

The more tepid start for European stocks comes after the region moved higher on Monday as investors continued to monitor developments around the omicron Covid variant.

White House Chief Medical Advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci said on Sunday that the initial data regarding the variant was “encouraging,” though he cautioned that more information was needed to fully understand it.

Stocks across Asia-Pacific jumped on Tuesday, bouncing back from Monday losses as Wall Street rallied on optimism that the omicron variant risk might not be as bad as feared. U.S. stock futures were flat in overnight trading after a rebound on Monday.

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Meanwhile, investors are also weighing the likelihood of the U.S. Federal Reserve removing its pandemic easing policies and hiking rates sooner than expected.

Comments by Fed officials suggest the central bank is likely to decide to double the pace of its taper to $30 billion a month at its December meeting next week. Initial discussions could also begin as soon as the December meeting about when to raise interest rates and by how much next year.

Data releases include German industrial production figures for October, Dutch inflation figures for November, Switzerland’s unemployment rate for November and French trade data for October. There are no major earnings Tuesday.

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— CNBC’s Yun Li contributed to this market report.


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