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Europe midday: Stocks near session highs led by travel and leisure issues

By Alexander Bueso

Date: Monday 06 Apr 2020

Europe midday: Stocks near session highs led by travel and leisure issues

(Sharecast News) - Stock market indices across Europe are trading near their best levels of the session, boosted by news of falling death rates in France, Italy and Spain, together with a big drop in the rate of new infections in the latter.
"While this is welcome, none of these countries have shown that they are inclined to lift their lockdowns any time soon, despite reports that some countries are looking at possible exit strategies," said Michael Hewson, chief market analyst at CMC Markets UK.

"With infection rates still very high, talk of an exit strategy seems rather premature at this stage, especially since testing processes are still in their infancy, and infection rates are still quite high."

The rate of new infections in Spain fell to 4,273 on Monday to reach 135,032, down from 6,023 new infections during the previous day, while in Austria the Chancellor, Sebastien Kurz, laid out plans to start easing the country's lockdown measures from 14 April.

As of 1428 GMT, the benchmark Stoxx 600 was adding 3.11% to 318.65, alongside an advance of 4.81% to 9,983.36 for Germany's Dax and a rise of 3.26% to 16,919.42 for Italy's FTSE Mibtel, while Spain's Ibex 35 was adding 3.64% to 6821.60.

Travel & Leisure issues were doing best, with the Stoxx 600 sector gauge trading up 7.70% to 147.17, while that for Autos&Parts was climbing 6.39% to 310.95.

The top 10 gainers on the Stoxx 600 leaderboard were all London-listed issues, with Tullow Oil pacing gains.

In parallel, front-dated Brent futures were off 2.7% to $33.21 a barrel.

At the weekend, the decision was taken to postpone a teleconference of OPEC+ energy ministers scheduled for Monday to Thursday as policymakers from producer countries tried to broker a deal.

Reports at the weekend indicated that Norway, which does not belong to OPEC+, might participate in any cuts, and that officials from the Canadian province of Alberta would dial in to the call.

There was some positive news to be had on the macroeconomic front as well.

The Sentix Institute's investor confidence gauge for the Eurozone in April fell to -42.9 from the prior month reading of -17.1 (consensus: -37.5).

However, a sub-index tracking investor expectations picked up slightly, from -20.0 to -15.8, a development that Claus Vistesen at Pantheon Macroeconomics described as a "bullish" development.


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