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Stocks climb amid further signs of coronavirus plateau in Europe

Edmund Heaphy
Finance and news reporter
Nurses and doctors returning applause in Malaga, Spain. (Jesus Merida/SOPA Images/Sipa USA)

Stocks climbed across the world on Tuesday as investors assessed data that suggested the growth in coronavirus deaths was tailing off on the continent.

The number of virus-related fatalities in Spain fell for the fourth day in a row, while Italy saw its first drop in the number of cases being handled in intensive care units.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index (^STOXX) was up around 2.8%. London’s FTSE 100 (^FTSE) rose by 2.1%, even as fears grew about the health of prime minister Boris Johnson, who remains in hospital.

Germany’s DAX (^GDAXI) climbed by around 3.7% after the growth in cases in the country slowed even further. The CAC 40 (^FCHI) was around 3% in the green in France, where the number of cases has also begun to level off.

Stocks in the US climbed after president Donald Trump hinted that a second round of stimulus measures could be on the way.

The S&P 500 (^GSPC) was up by more than 2.2%. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (^DJI) climbed by almost 2.6%, while shares on the Nasdaq (^IXIC) rose by around 1.4%.

Read more: Pound rises with UK prime minister 'not on ventilator'

“Increasing hope that fatality rates for Covid-19 may well be starting to plateau in Europe saw strong gains across the board, after Spain, Italy and France reported sustained dips in the death rates in their respective countries,” said Michael Hewson, the chief market analyst at CMC Markets UK.

“We also saw the announcement of a variety of new measures to cushion the economic effects of the virus,” said Hewson, pointing to moves in Japan, Singapore, Spain, and Germany, where there are discussions about a “limitless” credit facility for small companies.

Finance ministers from the eurozone are meanwhile set to meet on Tuesday to discuss co-ordinated proposals to deal with the fiscal costs of the pandemic.

The gains for stocks in the US and Europe followed a strong trading session in Asia.

Read more: Angela Merkel’s final act is her biggest challenge so far

China’s SSE Composite Index (^SSEC) rose by more than 2% yesterday, while the Hang Seng (^HSI) was up by more than 1.7% in Hong Kong at market close.

Japan’s Nikkei (^N225) was climbed by more than 2%, while the KOSPI Composite Index (^KOSPI) in South Korea closed almost 1.8% in the green.

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