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European shares bounce back after volatile week

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Oil stocks helped drive a rebound in European stocks on Monday after sharp losses late last week when fears about the Omicron variant and the US monetary policy outlook weighed on investor sentiment.

The pan-European STOXX 600 edged up 0.7pc as of 08:18 GMT, with the energy sector climbing 1.4pc.

Oil prices rose by more than $1 a barrel after top exporter Saudi Arabia hiked prices for crude sold to Asia and the United States.

Helping allay some concerns over Omicron, a South African health official said over the weekend that the variant caused mild infections, while top US infectious disease official Anthony Fauci told CNN "it does not look like there's a great degree of severity" so far.

Among stocks, French construction materials company Saint-Gobain rose 1pc after announcing it was acquiring all shares in US-based GCP Applied Technologies in a deal valued at around $2.3bn.

Just Eat Takeaway slipped 3.3pc after Bernstein downgraded the stock to "market perform, while Deutsche Bank added 2.9pc after J.P.Morgan upgraded the stock to "overweight".

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