* STOXX 600 marks first weekly dip in three
* Travel stocks among worst performers
* Tech stocks biggest weekly decliners, down 4.5%
* Samsung, STMicro boost chipmakers
Jan 7 (Reuters) - European shares slipped on Friday on
concerns over rising inflation and surging coronavirus
infections, while investors were uncertain over how weak U.S.
payrolls data would influence the Federal Reserve's plans for
The pan-European STOXX 600 closed 0.4% lower, and
lost 0.3% this week.
The European travel and leisure sector sank 1.6% and
was among the worst performers for the day as countries grapple
with an Omicron-led rise in COVID-19 cases.
Data also showed euro zone inflation rose to a record high
last month, likely pointing towards more pressure on the
European Central Bank to raise interest rates this year.
The STOXX 600 has fallen 1.6% since Wednesday as
expectations of higher interest rates battered heavyweight
technology stocks. The sector was the worst performer
this week, losing around 4.5%.
Hawkish signals from the Fed have also dented equity
markets. But while weak U.S. payrolls data on Friday somewhat
undermined the Fed's tilt, analysts said rising wages could feed
into inflation and push the central bank into tightening policy.
"Inflation is the main concern for the Fed, and they are
going to go ahead with rate hikes and potentially balance sheet
run-off in order to remove monetary accommodation," said Chris
Zaccarelli, chief investment officer for Independent Advisor
"The report today is unlikely to do anything to change the
The prospect of higher interest rates boosted European bank
stocks, making them the best performers this week with a
Gains in some chipmakers helped limit some losses in the
technology sector. Italy's STMicroelectronics, rose
more than 3% after posting quarterly revenue above its own
German chipmaker Infineon Technologies gained
1.7%, taking cues from South Korea's Samsung Electronics
that posted upbeat fourth-quarter results.
Deutsche Bank climbed 1.8% to a more than
six-month high. The German lender's finance chief told
Handelsblatt in an interview that the firm is confident it will
reach a key profitability target this year.
Dutch insurer Aegon rose more than 4% to the top
of the STOXX 600, after it announced a 50 million euro share
Meanwhile, Airbus dropped 0.8% after reports that
Qatar Airways is seeking more than $600 million in compensation
from the planemaker over surface flaws on A350 jetliners. Airbus
has said that while it acknowledges technical problems, there is
no safety issue.
Polish parcel locker firm InPost plummeted 14.0%
to the bottom of the STOXX 600 after posting
weaker-than-expected quarterly parcel volume growth in the
(Reporting by Anisha Sircar in Bengaluru; Editing by
Uttaresh.V, Ramakrishnan M. and Alison Williams)