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European Shares Rally On Fed Boost

stockmarkets aug17 24mar20 lt

European stocks were moving higher on Tuesday as the Federal Reserve's unlimited quantitative easing and aggressive asset-buying from the Bank of Japan prompted traders to return to risk assets.

Italy reported smaller increase in coronavirus cases for the second day running and the head of Germany's public health institute said the upward trend in the number of COVID-19 cases was levelling off, helping investor sentiment recover.

Meanwhile, if media reports are to be believed, U.S. Senate leaders and the
Trump administration appear closer to reaching bipartisan agreement on a stimulus bill that would inject nearly $2 trillion into the economy.

The pan European Stoxx 600 jumped 4.6 percent to 293.43 after losing 4.3 percent in the previous session. The German DAX surged 6.1 percent, France's CAC 40 index rallied 4.8 percent and the U.K.'s FTSE 100 added 4.5 percent.

Roche surged 5 percent. The company said that it has initiated global phase III study and collected data on Actemra's potential utility in severe COVID-19 pneumonia patients.

BioMérieux soared 8.3 percent on news the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved its COVID-19 test for use in moderate and high complexity clinical laboratories.

Shares of BT Group surged over 4 percent and Computacenter jumped more than 5 percent after the companies announced that they have entered into exclusive negotiations for the sale of BT's domestic operations in France to Computacenter.

Miners Anglo American, Antofagasta and Glencore rallied 5-7 percent, while oil major BP Plc and Royal Dutch Shell surged as much as 15 percent.

Rio Tinto rose over 1 percent. The mining giant said it will slow down some of its operations as a result of separate actions by the Premier of Quebec and the President of South Africa to contain the spread of COVID-19.

JD Sports Fashion advanced 5.4 percent. The retailer said that all of its stores are closed in the U.K., United States and Europe due to COVID-19.

Greencore Group, a manufacturer of convenience foods in the U.K., gained 4 percent as it announced the appointment of Emma Hynes as Executive Director and Chief Financial Officer with effect from May 19.

Redrow shares rose about 1 percent. The housebuilder said it decided to cancel its 10.5 pence interim dividend, due to the ongoing uncertainty related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Pernod Ricard shares climbed 4.2 percent. With the revised assumptions linked to COVID-19, the spirits maker now projects an organic decline in profit from recurring operations for fiscal 2020 of approximately 20 percent.

Nordex Group soared 20 percent. The company that designs, sells and manufactures wind turbines said it anticipates consolidated sales of 4.2 billion euros to 4.8 billion euros for the current financial year in which sales in the second half of the year will exceed those of the first half.

Axel Springer fell 2.2 percent after withdrawing its previous forecast for the 2020 financial year, citing the likely effects of the Coronavirus crisis

In economic releases, the euro area private sector logged the sharpest decline on record in March as the coronavirus outbreak intensified, survey results from IHS Markit showed.

The composite output index fell to 31.4 in March from 51.6 in February. This was the largest monthly fall in activity since data first collected in July 1998.

The services Purchasing Managers' Index declined to 28.4 from 52.6 in February. The manufacturing PMI slid to a 92-month low of 44.8 from 49.2 in February.

Separately, a preliminary report from IHS Markit showed that the U.K. manufacturing and services sector activities returned to contraction in March.

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