European Bourses Mildly Lower Midday; Oil Shares Higher

European bourses were slightly slipping midday Friday as traders weighed reports of fresh continental cases of the omicron variant of the COVID-19 virus. Oil shares were gaining with crude prices.

Market denizens also weighed a weak Wall Street futures market, and choppy closes overnight on Asian exchanges.

The final Eurozone PMI Composite Output Index, which measures both the services and the manufacturing sectors, posted at 55.4 in November, up from 54.2 in October but 0.4 below the earlier, monthly "flash" reading, IHS Markit reported. Readings above 50 indicate sectors in expansion, while below signals contraction.

The pan-continental Stoxx Europe 600 Index was off 0.03% mid-session.

The Stoxx Europe 600 Technology Index was off 0.7%, and the Stoxx 600 Banks Index was off 0.9%. The Stoxx Europe Oil and Gas Index was up 2.2%.

The Stoxx Europe Food and Beverage Index was flat, the REITE, a European REIT index, was up 0.1%, and the Stoxx Europe 600 Insurance Index was up 0.2%.

In national market indices, the German DAX was flat, the FTSE 100 Index in London was up 0.2%, and the CAC 40 in Paris was off 0.1%. Spain's IBEX 35 was flat.

Yields on benchmark 10-year German bonds were more negative, at minus 0.37%.

Front-month Brent crude oil futures were 2.3% higher at $71.31 per barrel.

The Euro Stoxx 50 volatility index was down 3.1% at 29.53, indicating above-average volatility for European stock markets in the next 30 days, a negative signal. A reading above 20 indicates choppier markets ahead, while below 20 suggests expectations for calmer markets.