European Stocks Climb for Second Day on Energy Boost, U.S. Data
(Bloomberg) -- European stocks climbed as a further recovery in oil prices and slightly better-than-expected U.S. jobless claims data lifted sentiment.
The Stoxx Europe 600 Index added 0.9% at the close, with energy shares and banks leading gains. The benchmark earlier fell as much as 0.5% after disappointing PMI economic reports across the region.
Earnings were also in the spotlight. Unilever slid 1.7% after withdrawing its 2020 guidance and reporting flat quarterly sales. Volvo AB dropped 5.3% after posting a decline in sales and warning of challenges ahead.
European equities are having a volatile week with a crude-oil glut and earnings reports taking center stage against a backdrop of persistent concerns about the impact of the novel coronavirus. The Stoxx 600 entered a bull market Monday only to slump the next day amid an unprecedented collapse in oil. Shares rebounded yesterday, although sentiment remains fragile.
Reports of slumping economic activity and sentiment offer a grim preview for European leaders who will discuss a possible 2 trillion-euro ($2.2 trillion) rescue plan to help cushion the blow from the pandemic. Still, U.S. initial jobless claims that came in below the median estimate gave stocks a boost in afternoon trading.
“Economic and quarterly reports will continue to play an essential role for European trading today,” said Andreas Lipkow, a strategist at Comdirect Bank. “The worst might not be over yet, however. Even if some of the lockdowns are loosened considerably, the economic consequences are still pending.”
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