European stocks move higher after global sell-off on recovery concerns

The pan-European Stoxx 600 was trading 0.7% higher in early deals. The index had slid nearly 2% on Thursday, with retailers dropping 3.2% to lead losses as all sectors and major bourses slid deep into negative territory.

Autos and travel stocks were leading the gains, up by more than 1%.

The travel sector has been hit hard by Covid restrictions, but news on Thursday that the U.K. is easing some of the quarantine rules is supporting the sector in early Friday trading.

The U.K. government said that double-vaccinated people will be allowed to travel without having to self-isolate on their return, unless they are traveling from a high-level risk country. The government also said it was working to lift quarantine rules for double-vaccinated people visiting the U.K.

On Friday, shares in Asia-Pacific fell on renewed Covid concerns. In Japan, the Nikkei 225 led losses among the region’s major markets as it fell 1.7% in afternoon trade, while the Topix index shed 1.48%.

Olympics organizers will ban spectators from the upcoming summer games in Tokyo, after a state of emergency in the city was declared by Japan on Thursday as the country sees rising Covid-19 cases. The state of emergency will last till August 22.

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Back in Europe, G-20 finance ministers and central bank governors are meeting in Venice, Italy, to talk about tax and the economic recovery.

On the data front, there will be a May flash GDP figure for the U.K. and Bank of England Governor Andrew Bailey will speak at an OECD Global Forum on Productivity.

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– CNBC’s Eustance Huang contributed to this report.

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