By Anisha Sircar and Amber Warrick
Jan 20 (Reuters) – European stocks closed higher on Thursday, with the travel sector leading gains after Ryanair expressed confidence in a recovery this year, while bond yields retreated from recent highs. taking some pressure off equities.
* The pan-European STOXX 600 index closed 0.5% higher, overcoming early losses and extending the rally to a second straight session.
* The travel sector was the best performer, rising 2.9%, as airline shares soared on Ryanair’s optimistic view of travel trends in 2022. Its shares jumped 4 ,two%.
* European stocks generally benefited as German bond yields fell below 0% again, following a string of strong gains this week.
* Utilities and technology stocks advanced 1.7% and 1.5%, respectively. These two sectors tend to underperform in high interest rate environments, and have fallen sharply this year.
* The STOXX 600 has had a difficult time finding its bearings this week as investors are concerned about rising inflation and a possible tightening of monetary policy this year.
* However, updates to corporate earnings and commodity-related earnings have helped improve sentiment.
* Data released on Thursday showed German producer prices rose at a record pace in December, boosted by rising energy prices.
* Energy stocks fell from two-year highs as oil prices fell after a month of gains, but then recovered and rose again.
(Edited in Spanish by Carlos Serrano)