Stocks in Europe rose on Monday as investors looked to a UK-wide lockdown and signs of progress on a US stimulus package as potential turning points in the coronavirus pandemic.
The UK government on Monday ordered the closure of all non-essential shops, as well as playgrounds and libraries, and imposed a range of drastic restrictions on public life.
Investors were also awaiting a raft of purchasing managers’ index data from the UK and eurozone to assess the early impacts of the pandemic on the European economy.
Late on Monday, Chuck Schumer, the top Democrat in the US senate, and US treasury secretary Steven Mnuchin said they were close to a deal on a $2tn stimulus package designed to shield the world’s largest economy from the fallout.
The strong opening in Europe followed a gains for stocks in Asia.
“This stabilisation does appear to be manifesting itself in the way of a calmer session and a more optimistic tone in Asia markets, on the back of hopes that more fiscal measures are forthcoming, and this in turn is set to filter through into a positive start for markets here in Europe,” said Michael Hewson, the chief market analyst at CMC Markets UK.
“One thing is also certain: however bad today’s numbers are, they will only be the appetiser for even worse numbers next month, as most of Europe goes into lockdown, with the UK going into total lockdown for a minimum of three weeks late last night,” said Hewson.
Futures were also pointing to a higher open for US stocks on Monday.
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