Markets

European stocks close higher on vaccine rollouts and recovery hopes; Vivendi up 20%

Share
Key Points
  • The pan-European Stoxx 600 closed up 1.4%, with media stocks surging 4.2% to lead the gains amid a sharp rise in shares of Vivendi.
  • Trading volumes were light as markets in China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and the U.S. were closed on Monday for holidays.
  • Vivendi shares surged 20% after the French media conglomerate announced plans to list Universal Music on the stock market and distribute 60% the capital to shareholders.

LONDON — European markets closed higher on Monday, with successful vaccine rollouts fueling hopes of a global economic recovery.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 closed up 1.4%, with media stocks surging 4.2% to lead the gains amid a sharp rise in shares of Vivendi.

European stocks received a positive handover from Asia-Pacific. Japan's Nikkei 225 surged past the 30,000 level for the first time in more than 30 years, after government data showed the Japanese economy growing 12.7% on an annualized basis between October and December 2020.

Trading volumes were light as markets in China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and the U.S. were closed on Monday for holidays.

Oil prices spiked amid fears of an escalation of tensions in the Middle East, after a Saudi-led coalition fighting in Yemen claimed to have intercepted an explosive drone fired by an Iranian-backed Houthi rebel group. Brent crude was up 1.5% at $63.36 per barrel on Monday afternoon in Europe.

VIDEO4:1604:16
UK's vaccine campaign has lifted optimism, Legal & General CEO says

In other news, the U.K. has now issued a first Covid-19 vaccine dose to more than 15 million people across all four of its top priority categories, in what Prime Minister Boris Johnson described over the weekend as an "extraordinary feat."

In Spain, Catalan separatist parties increased their majority in the Catalonian regional parliament on Sunday, despite a strong showing from the local branch of the country's ruling Socialist Workers' Party, setting up potential negotiations between regional separatists and Madrid.

Vivendi surges on Universal listing

Vivendi shares surged almost 20% on Monday after the French media conglomerate announced plans to list Universal Music on the stock market and distribute 60% of the capital to shareholders. French transportation group Bollore, which has a stake in Vivendi, rallied nearly 15%.

At the bottom of the European blue chip index, Belgian pharmaceutical company Galapagos slid around 6%.

Subscribe to CNBC PRO for exclusive insights and analysis, and live business day programming from around the world.