European Shares Extend Gains For Fourth Day


European stocks rose on Thursday to extend gains for the fourth straight session on optimism that efforts to ease lockdown restrictions on businesses and people will contribute to quick economic recovery.

Fresh fiscal stimulus proposals from the European Union and Japan also helped underpin investor sentiment.

The European Union proposed Wednesday a €750 billion stimulus program to help limit the damage inflicted by the coronavirus pandemic.

The Japanese Cabinet approved a 31.91 trillion yen ($296 billion) second supplementary budget for the fiscal year through next March to reduce the social and economic impacts of the coronavirus outbreak.

On the data front, Eurozone economic confidence improved in May from a record low, survey data from the European Commission showed.

The economic sentiment index rose to 67.5 in May from 64.9 in the previous month. However, the reading was below economists’ forecast of 70.3.

The pan European Stoxx 600 climbed 1.1 percent to 353.45 after closing up 0.2 percent on Wednesday.

The German DAX rose 0.6 percent, France’s CAC 40 index gained 0.9 percent and the U.K.’s FTSE 100 was up 0.4 percent.

Roche Holding gained nearly 2 percent. The company said it has initiated a late-stage trial of a two drug combination to treat patients with severe Covid-19 pneumonia.

Shares of Scandinavian Airlines System plunged 11 percent in Sweden after the company reported a sharply wider net loss in its second quarter, hurt by weak demand amid Covid-19.

Fresenius SE & Co rose over 1 percent after its Kabi unit and German pharmaceutical company medac entered into a marketing agreement for treatments of rheumatic illnesses.

Industrial design services company Bertrandt Group rallied 2.5 percent despite reporting a fall in first-half profit.

Capgemini advanced 1.3 percent after it established a joint venture with Audi AG to provide digital technology and consulting services.

Aerospace giant Safran gained 1.6 percent after Boeing Co said it had resumed production of its 737 MAX passenger jet at its Washington plant.

Shares of easyJet jumped over 5 percent after the low-frills airline confirmed it would restart a number of flights on 15 June. The airline also announced plans to cut up to 30 percent of its workforce to cope with the collapse in demand.

Engine maker Rolls-Royce Holdings slumped 7 percent.

GlaxoSmithKline rose 1.3 percent. The company said it plans to produce 1 billion doses of vaccine efficacy boosters, or adjuvants, next year.

Shares of Cineworld Group jumped as much as 23 percent after the movie-chain operator said it negotiated a covenant waiver.

Media firm Daily Mail and General Trust tumbled 5 percent as it reported a 44 percent fall in first-half profit.

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