(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).