European shares flat as health stocks’ gain offset luxury, tech drag

European shares flat as health stocks' gain offset luxury, tech drag
© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: The German share price index DAX graph is pictured at the stock exchange in Frankfurt, Germany, December 21, 2022. REUTERS/Staff

(Reuters) – European shares were flat on Friday, with the weakness in some luxury firms and tech stocks offset by gains in healthcare companies.

The region-wide STOXX 600 was off 0.03% at 0810 GMT, but is on pace for a 0.6% advance in the last week before Christmas after two straight weeks of losses.

The index closed down 1% on Thursday after U.S. data showing a tight labour market and economic resilience fuelled concerns that the Federal Reserve would need to keep hiking interest rates aggressively for longer.

Among STOXX 600 sectors, miners rose 0.4% to lead gains on the day.

But the biggest boost to the STOXX 600 came from healthcare firms, which rose 0.3%, helped by a 4.9% jump in Bavarian Nordic after the vaccine maker signed a contract with the U.S. Department of Defense.

Some China-focused luxury firms such as LVMH and Kering (EPA:PRTP) were a drag on the main index on news that China is expecting a peak in COVID-19 infections within a week.

The tech sector fell 0.3%, bogged down by losses in chip stocks such as Aixtron and ASML Holding (NASDAQ:ASML).

Source: Reuters