UK markets closed

European stocks rebound as UK goes into coronavirus lockdown

Edmund Heaphy
Finance and news reporter
Prime minister Boris Johnson speaks to the nation on Monday evening. (Marc Atkins/Getty Images)

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 pan-European STOXX 600 index (^STOXX) climbed by around 3.8%. London’s FTSE 100 (^FTSE) rose by around 3.2%.

Germany’s DAX (^GDAXI) was up by around 4.5%, while France’s CAC 40 (^FCHI) was 3.5% in the green.

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.

Read more: UK in strict lockdown with official closure of all non-essential stores

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.

China’s SSE Composite Index (^SSEC) rose by more than 2.3% on Tuesday, while the Hang Seng (^HSI) was up by almost 4.5% in Hong Kong at market close.

Japan’s Nikkei (^N225) rose by around 7%, while the KOSPI Composite Index (^KOSPI) in South Korea closed 8.6% in the green. Australia’s ASX 200 (^AXJO) rose by almost 4.2%.

Read more: Travel insurers expect to pay out record £275m for coronavirus-related claims

“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.

S&P 500 futures (ES=F) rose by around 4.2%, Dow Jones Industrial Average futures (YM=F) climbed by more than 3.9%, while Nasdaq futures (NQ=F) were up by more than 4%.

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