LONDON — European markets were slightly higher in a holiday-thinned trading session on Monday with many markets still closed due to the Christmas festivities.

The German Dax and France’s CAC 40 both rose 0.2% by the early afternoon, while Spain’s Ibex index was up 0.6%.

Market players have been juggling concerns over coronavirus restrictions and tighter central bank policy with signs that the heavily mutated omicron strain of the virus is milder than earlier variants like delta.

New studies in South Africa and the U.K. last week suggested omicron has a reduced risk of hospitalization and severe illness. In the U.K. at the end of last week, infections were still topping 100,000, while France has also reported cases above that figure for the first time.

In Asia, shares were mixed in Monday trade, with multiple major markets in the region closed for holidays.

U.S. markets are back open on Monday after the Christmas holiday, but both the U.K. and Ireland are closed on Monday and Tuesday.

In individual stocks news, shares of Storskogen were up 4% with news that the Swedish firm had acquired the automation company LNS.

This material is provided by