European stocks reversed their course to finish higher on Thursday, following gains on Wall Street, while investors awaited a European Parliament vote on emergency funds to cushion the blow from the coronavirus outbreak.
US stock indexes surged despite a record number of weekly jobless claims, with the data deemed to be in favor of more stimulus to combat the economic impact of the pandemic.
Iseq rose 4.6% as the equity markets continued to recover losses. AIB, which fell sharply due to the stock slump at the start of the month, jumped 17% to € 1.21, while Bank of Ireland 6.5% to just under € 2.09.
Building materials group CRH, the biggest title in the Dublin market, rose 9.7% to € 24.43, while insulation Kingspan up 5.2% to € 50.50. Packing group Smurfit Kappa increased by 8% to € 26.70.
The main titles in red that day were Ryanair, which fell by 1% to € 9.70, and Dalata hotel group, down 4.8% to € 2.76, while the bakery products group Aryzta decreased from 12.4% to 33%.
However, other food companies have made gains. Kerry added 2.6% to € 99.95, Glanbia added 5.4% to € 9.75. and Original companies finished at € 1.89, up 4.7%.
The FTSE 100 added 2.2%, after falling 3% at the start of the session, to manage its first three-day gain since the coronavirus crisis set in in February. The mid-cap FTSE 250 increased 3.8% for its fifth consecutive day of gains.
The Bank of England has said it is ready to step up its bond buying program if necessary, while British Chancellor Rishi Sunak has announced support for the self-employed.
Shopping center operator Intu fell 6.4% after declaring it would seek debt relief from its lenders and help from UK government support schemes as the crisis hits retailers’ rents.
Real estate company British land fell 3.8% after forecasting rent deferrals of around 40 million pounds (44 million euros) in March.
Electricity retailer Dixons Carphone jumped 12.5 percent even as it warned of a severe blow to profits due to the pandemic.
After falling earlier in the day, the pan-European Stoxx 600 index rebounded to close 2.6% and has now increased by almost 15% in the past three sessions.
The index is still down 26 percent from a record high in February, with a recession in Europe now looking imminent.
The European travel and leisure industry recorded gains for the day, adding around 7.5%, as investors bought the sector most affected by the epidemic.
Germany’s shares rose 1.3%, while survey shows consumer sentiment in Europe’s largest economy has dropped to its lowest level since 2009. French CAC 40 added 2.5%.
Aircraft manufacturer Airbus was among the biggest winners of the Stoxx 600 after announcing that it was reducing the production of aircraft wings because it is slowing operations due to the pandemic. The stock climbed 15.7% to € 71.50.
Wall Street stocks rose as investors anticipated a more aggressive stimulus to help businesses and families destroyed by the economic fallout from the pandemic.
The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits jumped to 3.28 million last week, as state-wide bottlenecks halted the economy and triggered a wave of layoffs.
United airlines, American airlines and Delta increased from 7 to 13 percent, while Boeing increased 15% to build on a strong recovery this week, spurred by a provision of $ 58 billion (52.5 billion euros) for the aerospace industry in the latest aid bill. – Reuters.