European Shares Rise Amid Easing Of Coronavirus Curbs

European stocks rebounded on Thursday after a big selloff in the previous session on the back of dismal U.S. economic data and persistent worries over the economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic.

The spread of the coronavirus has slowed somewhat and some European countries unveiled plans to lift lockdown restrictions, helping improve investor sentiment.

Markets, however, came off their day’s highs after data showed U.K. retail sales declined at the worst rate on record in March.

Total sales fell an annual 4.3 percent – showing the sharpest decline since records started in January 1995 when excluding distortions, according to the British Retail Consortium-KPMG retail sales monitor.

Elsewhere, Euro zone industrial production dipped 0.1 percent month-on-month in February, the month before coronavirus restrictions were widely introduced in Europe, Eurostat data showed.

The pan-European Stoxx Europe 600 was up 0.7 percent at 325.15 after falling as much as 3.2 percent in the previous session to snap a five-session winning streak.

The German DAX and France’s CAC 40 index were up around 0.8 percent, while the U.K.’s FTSE 100 was marginally lower, giving up all early gains.

Novartis shares rose 2.4 percent. The Swiss drug manufacturer has collaborated with TScan Therapeutics for the discovery and development of T cell receptor (TCR) therapies to treat solid tumors.

German online fashion retailer Zalando soared 4.7 percent. The company expressed optimism over the second quarter as sales rebounded from a dip in April.

Medical and safety technology provider Draegerwerk AG fell over 1 percent. The company said it would specify its expectations for 2020 with the publication of the half-year results.

Budget carrier easyJet advanced 2.3 percent. The airline said it can survive a lengthy grounding of its fleet during the coronavirus pandemic, thanks to measures it had taken to shore up its finances. Rival Ryanair rose 1.4 percent.

Informa, the world’s largest organizer of business conferences and exhibitions, gained about 2 percent.

The company announced further cost-reductions including pay cuts, temporary suspension of dividends, discussions on a debt covenant waiver and the issue of additional new equity.

Asset management company Schroders rallied 1.6 percent. The Group said it generated strong flows in the first quarter, with net new business totaling 30.4 billion pounds.

Housebuilder Barratt Developments surged over 4 percent after saying it had
completed 11,713 homes in the period to April 12, up from 10,954 homes last year.

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