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European Stocks Log Second Best Year Since 2009 With a Gain of 22%

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  • The pan-European Euro Stoxx index rose 22.47% for the year with banks and tech stocks outperforming, both with rallies of 34%.
  • It is the benchmark's best year since 2019 when the index gained 23.16%, and its second best year since 2009.

LONDON – European indexes fell on Friday, the last trading session of 2021, but logged gains of over 22% for the year.

The U.K.'s FTSE 100 fell 0.2% on Friday and France's CAC slipped 0.3%. Markets closed at lunchtime owing to the New Year's Eve celebrations, while the German DAX, the Swiss SMI and Italy's FTSE MIB were shut all day.

The FTSE and the DAX saw gains of around 15% for the year, while the French CAC logged a rise of nearly 30%.

The pan-European Euro Stoxx index rose 22.47% for the year with banks and tech stocks outperforming, both with rallies of 34%.

It is the benchmark's best year since 2019 when the index gained 23.16%, and its second best year since 2009. The German DAX ended the year up 15.79% for its best year since 2019 when it gained 25.48%, and the third straight positive year and the ninth positive year in 10.

Market players have spent weeks juggling concerns over new Covid restrictions and tighter central bank policy, with early studies suggesting the omicron strain of the virus is milder than previous variants like delta. New studies in South Africa and the U.K. last week suggested omicron carries a reduced risk of hospitalization and severe illness.

All sectors ended the year higher, although hard-hit travel stocks only ended 2021 with a rise of 4%.

On Wall Street, stock futures were mildly lower on Friday morning ahead of the final trading day of 2021. In Asia, Hong Kong stocks led gains among major markets on Friday, with Chinese tech stocks in the city soaring.

—CNBC's Gina Francolla contributed to this article.

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