European stocks close higher, bouncing back from sharp sell-off

The pan-European Stoxx 600 closed up 1.3% but was barely higher for the week. The index had slid nearly 2% on Thursday, with retailers dropping 3.2%.

Mining stocks led the gains on Friday, up 4%, with most sectors and major bourses in the black. Travel shares also rose, climbing 1.3% on news that the U.K. is easing some of its quarantine rules.

The U.K. government said double-vaccinated people will be allowed to travel without having to self-isolate on their return, unless they are traveling from a high-level risk country. The government also said it was working to lift quarantine rules for double-vaccinated people visiting the U.K.

On Friday, shares in Asia-Pacific fell on renewed Covid concerns. In Japan, the Nikkei 225 led losses among the region’s major markets as it fell 1.7% in afternoon trade, while the Topix index shed 1.48%.

On Wall Street, meanwhile, the major U.S. averages rose on Friday, rebounding from the previous session’s losses.

Olympics organizers will ban spectators from the upcoming summer games in Tokyo, after a state of emergency in the city was declared by Japan on Thursday as the country sees rising Covid-19 cases. The state of emergency will last till August 22.

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Back in Europe, G-20 finance ministers and central bank governors are meeting in Venice, Italy, to talk about tax and the economic recovery.

On the data front, flash GDP data showed the U.K. economy growing slower than expected in May, up 0.8% from the previous month.

Looking at individual stocks, Porsche rose 6.1% to the top of the Stoxx 600, while Demant fell 9.3%.

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– CNBC’s Eustance Huang contributed to this report.

(With Inputs from cnbc)

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