European shares inch higher as oil, retail stocks jump

FILE PHOTO: The German share price index DAX graph is pictured at the stock exchange in Frankfurt, Germany, January 4, 2021. REUTERS/Staff

(Reuters) – European shares edged up on Tuesday, lifted by oil and retail stocks, while investors looked past a new national lockdown in Britain to contain a surge in coronavirus cases.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index was up 0.1% by 0814 GMT, after opening slightly lower following losses in Asia and on Wall Street over worries about the runoff Senate elections in the U.S. state of Georgia.

UK’s FTSE 100 rose 0.6%, boosted by oil majors Royal Dutch Shell and BP providing the biggest support.

British fashion retailer Next jumped 8.2% after it said its Christmas sales were much better than it had expected.

The domestically focussed midcap index inched 0.2% higher, even as a new, more contagious variant of the coronavirus first identified in the United Kingdom prompted a fresh shutdown of schools and businesses.

Germany’s DAX index was flat with the government also looking to extend a lockdown.

German chipmaker Dialog Semiconductor PLC gained 4.7% after it gave an upbeat fourth-quarter revenue forecast due to strong demand for 5G phones and tablets.

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