European Shares Rally Amid Signs Of Slowing Virus Spread

European stocks rallied for the second day running on Tuesday as the spread of the coronavirus appeared to slow down somewhat and investors looked for more central bank and government stimulus to counter the economic fallout from the pandemic.

The daily number of new Covid-19 cases fell for a fourth day in a row in Spain on Monday, prompting the government to contemplate a gradual easing of a nationwide lockdown.

After declaring a month-long state of emergency for Tokyo and six other prefectures, the Japanese government is expected to approve a coronavirus stimulus package totaling 108 trillion yen, or equal to 20 percent of Japan’s GDP.

Singapore announced an additional S$5.1 billion (US$3.6 billion) stimulus to save jobs and protect the livelihoods of people amid the spread of coronavirus.

This is the third stimulus package, which was unveiled by Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat, and covers wage subsidies and cash payout.

European finance ministers will meet for a videoconference today and it is likely that they will agree on a framework for delivering financial support to the countries worst hit by the pandemic.

The pan European Stoxx 600 was up 2.4 percent at 328.26 after rallying as much as 3.7 percent on Monday.

The German DAX climbed 3.4 percent, France’s CAC 40 index jumped about 3 percent and the U.K.’s FTSE 100 was up 2.2 percent.

Shares of Infineon Technologies surged 7.5 percent. The semiconductor maker has obtained antitrust clearance from China’s State Administration for Market Regulation for its merger transaction with US-based Cypress Semiconductor Corp.

Luxury fashion brand Hugo Boss soared 8 percent despite suspending dividend for fiscal year 2019.

Brenntag gained nearly 5 percent. The chemical distribution company has decided to suspend the forecast for fiscal 2020.

Thales shares rose about 2 percent. The company slashed its dividend and suspended profit forecasts while announcing a series of measures to deal with the Covid-19 crisis.

Luxury groups LVMH and Kering were up 2.6 percent and 5 percent, respectively after saying they would cope without government support.

Shares in WH Smith surged nearly 5 percent. The retailer has raised 165.9 million pounds ($203.5 million) via a share placing in a bid to strengthen its balance sheet and liquidity position.

Workspace Group jumped 7 percent. The real estate investment trust said it expects trading profit for the year to March 31 to be in line with market expectations.

Cineworld Group, the world’s second largest cinema chain, jumped as much as 40 percent after outlining its plans to survive the coronavirus outbreak.

HomeServe surged 8.4 percent. The home emergency repairs and improvements business expects adjusted profit before tax for the financial year ended 31 March 2020 to be ahead of consensus expectations at 181 million pounds.

The company has decided not to furlough or make redundant any staff in the course of the Covid-19 lockdowns.

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