Tech and healthcare help European shares above one-month highs
(For a Reuters live blog on U.S., UK and European stock markets, click LIVE/ or type LIVE/ in a news window)
* STOXX 600 set to end 2021 21.7% higher, fell 4% in 2020
* CNH Industrial hits record high
* Defensives lead gains
* Roche up after approval for COVID-19 products (Updates with closing prices)
By Anisha Sircar
Dec 27 (Reuters) - European shares ended higher in thin trading on Monday, led by gains in technology and healthcare stocks, with Roche rising on regulatory approval for COVID-19-related products.
The pan-European STOXX 600 .STOXX rose 0.7% with technology shares .SX8P and defensive sectors like healthcare .SXDP and construction .SXOP leading gains.
The technology sub-index is on-track to be the top performer among European sectors in 2021 and is set to gain around 33%, followed by banking shares .SX7P .
Markets globally also inched higher in thin trading with the S&P 500 .SPX hitting record highs over easing concerns of the Omicron coronavirus variant.
Following a 4% drop in 2020, the STOXX 600 is on course for a 21.7% jump this year after encouraging study results on the Omicron variant drove gains last week.
"Low volume and no new surprising headlines usually allow asset prices to follow the prevailing path of least resistance," Charalambos Pissouros, head of research at JFD Group, said.
Still, the high transmissibility of the new variant remains a concern, with rising cases worldwide threatening recovery.
France hit another COVID-19 infection record on Friday, while airlines around the world cancelled more than 4,500 flights over the weekend and China reported its highest daily rise in local infections in 21 months.
"Most nations may prefer not to tighten restrictions further this week in order not to spoil the holidays, but this could be the case early next year," Pissouros said.
Among individual stocks, high-tech industrial group Groupe Gorgé GOEG.PA jumped 6.4% after confirming an indicative offer for its acquisition of iXblue.
Roche ROG.S added 0.9% after Swiss drugs regulator Swissmedic approved Ronapreve, an antibody treatment jointly developed with Regeneron REGN.O to treat COVID-19 patients.
On Friday, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration granted emergency use authorization to Roche's COVID-19 at-home rapid test that can be used by people as young as 14.
CNH Industrial CNHI.MI extended a three-day rally, adding 2.5% to hit a record high after on Thursday approving the spin-off of its truck-making business, Iveco.
British, Australian and Hong Kong markets were closed for holidays.
Reporting by Anisha Sircar, Susan Mathew and Shashank Nayar in Bengaluru; Editing by Devika Syamnath and Alexander Smith
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