European Shares Extend Gains On Central Bank Support
European stocks rose for a second straight session on Friday as China reported zero new domestic coronavirus cases for the second day and massive relief packages announced by global central banks and governments helped to ease fears of a global recession.
Meanwhile, the U.S. Federal Reserve said it would establish temporary swap lines with other nine central banks as part of coordinated action to improve liquidity in the financial markets.
The pan European Stoxx 600 soared 4.5 percent to 300.81 after climbing 2.9 percent in the previous session. The German DAX surged nearly 6 percent, France’s CAC 40 index jumped 6.3 percent and the U.K.’s FTSE 100 rallied 3.1 percent.
Banks surged from their lowest in three decades after the Bank of England joined its European peers in suspending stress tests for 2020.
Commerzbank, Deutsche Bank, Credit Agricole and Societe Generale advanced 5-8 percent.
Dutch-based Advanced Metallurgical Group advanced 4.4 percent. The company announced that it received consents to form Shell & AMG Recycling together with Shell Catalysts & Technologies.
Food distribution company Sligro Food Group was moving lower after saying it had lost about 70-75 percent of its delivery sales because of the coronavirus crisis.
Danish business conglomerate A.P. Moller – Maersk climbed 8.3 percent after suspending its guidance for 2020.
Siemens AG shares advanced 9 percent. The engineering major said that its President and Chief Executive Officer Joe Kaeser will not be pursuing an extension of his mandate. He will be proposed as Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Siemens Energy.
Optics firm Fielmann rallied 8.5 percent. The company announced that it will temporarily shut down its regular operations of stores in Germany and Switzerland from March 20. The company is implementing additional measures to contain the Covid-19 spread.
Hamburger Hafen und Logistik Aktiengesellschaft shares soared 10 percent. The logistics and transportation firm said it expects revenues and operating result for the financial year 2020 to strongly fall below prior due to the possible temporarily sharp declines in container throughput and transport.
Semiconductor materials maker Soitec gained 5.5 percent. The company said that OCEANE 2023 holders have approved partial assets contribution for its wholly-owned subsidiary Soitec Newco 1.
British Airways’ parent company IAG jumped 10 percent. The base salary of British Airways pilots will be reduced by 50 percent split over three months, the Financial Times reported.
InterContinental Hotels Group shares soared 12 percent. The company said that its Global RevPAR decreased 6 percent across January and February, with a broadly flat performance in the U.S. offset by declines in Greater China, which saw an almost 90 percent decline in February.
Investec, a specialist bank and asset manager, tumbled nearly 3 percent. The company expects lower earnings in fiscal 2020 amid challenging market conditions, mainly due to the ongoing public health and economic effects of COVID-19.
Travis Perkins advanced 13 percent after announcing that the Group’s trading performance in 2020 has been in line with expectations.
Marks & Spencer Group lost 10 percent. The retailer said its quarter to date results have been adversely affected by the impact of coronavirus.
On a light day on the economic front, the euro area current account surplus increased in January on primary income and services trade, the European Central Bank reported.
The current account surplus rose to EUR 35 billion in January from EUR 33 billion in December. This was slightly above last year’s surplus of EUR 34 billion.
The surplus on trade in goods fell to EUR 27 billion from EUR 31 billion, while the surplus on services trade advanced to EUR 10 billion from EUR 6 billion.
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