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European Stocks End Sharply Higher As Data Shows Slowdown In Virus Cases

European stocks rose sharply on Monday after reports showed a drop in new coronavirus cases and deaths in several hot spots in Europe over the weekend.

According to reports the death toll due to the virus outbreak fell to the lowest level in over two weeks on Sunday. Spain too reported lower cases of infections and deaths over the weekend.

With 525 deaths in 24 hours, Italy on Sunday recorded its lowest death rate in the last 24 hours.

Spain, which has seen the rate of new infections and deaths slow in recent days, said it plans to widen coronavirus testing to include people without symptoms.

France's health ministry said Sunday that the daily death toll from the coronavirus fell in the past 24 hours and admissions into intensive care also slowed.

The pan European Stoxx 600 climbed up 3.73%. All the major markets in the region ended with strong gains. The U.K.'s FTSE 100 firmed up 3.08%, Germany's DAX surged up 5.77%, France's CAC 40 advanced 4.61% and Switzerland's SMI gained 2.38%.

Among other markets in Europe, Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Finland, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Spain, Sweden and Turkey ended stronger by 2 to 5%.

Russia gained nearly 2%. Denmark and Portugal also closed on a firm note.

In France, Renault, Bouygues, Accor, Unibail Rodamco, Saint Gobain, Vinci and ArcelorMittal climbed up 10 to 14%.

Worldline SA, Societe Generale, Schneider Electric, STMicroElectronics, Peugeot, Publicis Groupe, Airbus Group, Essilor Luxottica and Sodexo gained 7 to 10%.

In the German market, Volkswagen soared more than 15%. Daimler and BMW gained nearly 12% and 10%, respectively.

Lufthansa, MTU Aero, Continental AG, BASF, Deutsche Bank, Deutsche Post, Siemens, Bayer, Adidas, HeidelbergCement, Allianz and Linde gained 5 to 9%.

In London, Rolls-Royce Holdings zoomed more than 18%. Melrose, Legal & General, Carnival and Barratt Developments gained 16 to 18%.

Tullow Oil spurted nearly 40%. Pharos Energy and GVC Holdings also ended with hefty gains.

In economic news, Eurozone investor confidence fell to a record low in April as the coronavirus, or Covid-19, pandemic spread across the globe, results of a survey by the behavioural research institute Sentix showed. The Sentix investor confidence index shed 25.8 points to reach an all-time low of -42.9. Economists had forecast a reading of -30.3.

Germany's factory orders fell 1.4% month-on-month in February after rising by revised 4.8% in January, data from Destatis showed. Orders were expected to fall 2.5%.

On a yearly basis, factory orders grew 1.5%, in contrast to a 0.8% drop in January.

Germany's construction activity decreased at the sharpest rate in seven years in March with declines in all sub-groups as firms cut jobs amid weaker demand due to the coronavirus outbreak, survey data from IHS Markit showed. The Construction Purchasing Managers' Index, or PMI, fell to 42 from a 25-month high of 55.8 in February.

In the U.K., new car sales declined sharply in March as showrooms closed after the outbreak of coronavirus pandemic, data from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, or SMMT, showed.

Car registrations plunged 44.4% on a yearly basis. The decline was steeper than during the 2009 financial crisis and the worst March since the late nineties when the market changed to the bi-annual plate change system, the SMMT said.

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