Bulletin
Investor Alert

Europe Markets Archives | Email alerts

March 20, 2020, 12:18 p.m. EDT

European stocks trade higher after a week of spending by global central banks and governments to combat coronavirus

Oil prices also climb, driving up BP and Total

new
Watchlist Relevance
LEARN MORE

Want to see how this story relates to your watchlist?

Just add items to create a watchlist now:

  • X
    STOXX Europe 600 Index (SXXP)
  • X
    DAX (DAX)
  • X
    CAC 40 Index (PX1)

or Cancel Already have a watchlist? Log In

By Barbara Kollmeyer, MarketWatch


Reuters
Street in the middle of the coronavirus outbreak in Rome, Italy, on March 16, 2020.

European stocks rose Friday, as investors appeared willing, for now, to put their faith in vast stimulus moves from central banks and governments to shore up economies against the fast-spreading coronavirus pandemic.

Up for a second straight session, the Stoxx Europe 600 index /zigman2/quotes/210599654/delayed XX:SXXP -0.10%  rose 2% to 293.33. The German DAX /zigman2/quotes/210597999/delayed DX:DAX -1.09%  and French CAC 40 /zigman2/quotes/210597958/delayed FR:PX1 -0.69%  indexes gained 3.7% and 5.2% respectively, and the FTSE 100 index /zigman2/quotes/210598409/delayed UK:UKX +0.34%  rose 1%.

U.S. stocks traded mixed, with the Dow Jones Industrial /zigman2/quotes/210598065/realtime DJIA +1.34% seeing volatile trade and was last down 0.6%.

Central banks and governments have sped up efforts to cushion the economic blow already being delivered by the coronavirus pandemic, which has ground many industries to a halt.

On Friday, the Bank of England suspended 2020 stress tests for the eight major U.K. banks and building societies, a day after cutting interest rates for the second time in a week. The BoE and European Central Bank have announced expanded asset-buying programs this week as well.

In the U.S., two of the Trump administration’s top economic officials expressed hope on Thursday that Congress could pass a vast economic recovery package by Monday. More moves were seen by the Federal Reserve, which extended dollar swap lines with central banks on Thursday.

The greenback has surged as investors have panicked into the currency, but that appeared to ease on Friday as the ICE Dollar Index /zigman2/quotes/210598269/delayed DXY +0.24%  fell 0.8%, though it is still up 3% this week.

Analysts warned, though, that gains may not last and next week could see a renewal of volatile trading after what could be a weekend of difficult coronavirus headlines from Europe. Infection and death rates continue to climb in locked down countries such as Italy and Spain. Cases are also rising across the U.S., where California has just been placed on a statewide lockdown.

The “full extent of the economic damage remains unknown, yet markets tend to move ahead of the real world and will be pricing for 2021-22 already — global stocks will overshoot and bottom out well ahead of the real economy,” said Neil Wilson, chief market analyst for Markets.com.

“On the other hand, a drawdown of this scale usually takes months to play out. Picking a bottom is always the hardest part of trading,” he told clients in a note.

U.S. crude futures  were down 6.7%, reversing an intraday move that saw futures up 6.2% earlier, to trade at $23.38 a barrel, in a week that has been marked by wild swings. Global benchmark May Brent crude futures  fell 1.7% to $28 a barrel after earlier gains.

The moves for crude come as Russia indicated it would like to see higher prices, and the Trump administration reportedly said it may intervene in oil-price war between Saudi Arabia and Russia. Heavily weighted oil companies gave up some gains, with BP /zigman2/quotes/207305210/composite BP -0.39%   /zigman2/quotes/202286639/delayed UK:BP +0.39%  up 2% and Royal Dutch Shell Group /zigman2/quotes/205095589/composite RDS.A -3.01%   /zigman2/quotes/207682964/composite RDS.B -2.33%  up 6%.

Technology stocks were also driving positive action, with business software group SAP /zigman2/quotes/203458330/delayed DE:SAP -1.64%   /zigman2/quotes/207905606/composite SAP -0.83%  rising over 3% and semiconductor equipment maker ASML Holding /zigman2/quotes/210293876/composite ASML +0.09%   /zigman2/quotes/206208657/delayed NL:ASML -0.31%  up 9%. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite /zigman2/quotes/210598365/realtime COMP +2.26%  led Wall Street’s gains on Thursday with a rise of 2.3%.

/zigman2/quotes/210599654/delayed
XX : STOXX
355.51
-0.34 -0.10%
Volume: 0.00
Sept. 25, 2020 11:03p
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/210597999/delayed
DAX
DX : Xetra Indices
12,469.20
-137.37 -1.09%
Volume: 66,129
Sept. 25, 2020 6:30p
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/210597958/delayed
FR : France: Euronext Paris
4,729.66
-32.96 -0.69%
Volume: 96,957
Sept. 25, 2020 6:05p
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/210598409/delayed
UK : FTSE UK
5,842.67
+19.89 +0.34%
Volume: 699,068
Sept. 25, 2020 4:57p
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/210598065/realtime
US : Dow Jones Global
27,173.96
+358.52 +1.34%
Volume: 391.73M
Sept. 25, 2020 5:06p
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/210598269/delayed
US : U.S.: ICE Futures U.S.
94.58
+0.22 +0.24%
Volume: 0.00
Sept. 25, 2020 6:03p
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/207305210/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 17.86
-0.07 -0.39%
Volume: 14.53M
Sept. 25, 2020 4:00p
P/E Ratio
N/A
Dividend Yield
12.15%
Market Cap
$59.40 billion
Rev. per Employee
$4.03M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/202286639/delayed
UK : U.K.: London
233.30 p
+0.90 +0.39%
Volume: 49.25M
Sept. 25, 2020 4:35p
P/E Ratio
N/A
Dividend Yield
7.07%
Market Cap
£46.72 billion
Rev. per Employee
N/A
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/205095589/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 25.74
-0.80 -3.01%
Volume: 9.61M
Sept. 25, 2020 4:00p
P/E Ratio
N/A
Dividend Yield
8.32%
Market Cap
$98.66 billion
Rev. per Employee
$4.75M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/207682964/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 24.69
-0.59 -2.33%
Volume: 3.93M
Sept. 25, 2020 4:00p
P/E Ratio
N/A
Dividend Yield
10.21%
Market Cap
$98.66 billion
Rev. per Employee
$4.75M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/203458330/delayed
DE : Germany: Frankfurt
129.68
-2.16 -1.64%
Volume: 3,786
Sept. 25, 2020 8:58p
P/E Ratio
N/A
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
N/A
Rev. per Employee
€256,047
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/207905606/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 152.06
-1.28 -0.83%
Volume: 632,183
Sept. 25, 2020 4:00p
P/E Ratio
35.87
Dividend Yield
0.82%
Market Cap
$181.20 billion
Rev. per Employee
$302,071
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/210293876/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 360.48
+0.32 +0.09%
Volume: 724,209
Sept. 25, 2020 4:00p
P/E Ratio
47.22
Dividend Yield
0.62%
Market Cap
$150.08 billion
Rev. per Employee
$555,391
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/206208657/delayed
NL : Netherlands: Euronext Amsterdam
307.20
-0.95 -0.31%
Volume: 939,943
Sept. 25, 2020 5:35p
P/E Ratio
44.50
Dividend Yield
0.78%
Market Cap
€128.93 billion
Rev. per Employee
€470,770
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/210598365/realtime
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
10,913.56
+241.30 +2.26%
Volume: 3.38M
Sept. 25, 2020 5:16p
loading...

Barbara Kollmeyer is an editor for MarketWatch in Madrid. Follow her on Twitter @bkollmeyer.

This Story has 0 Comments
Be the first to comment
More News In
Markets

Story Conversation

Commenting FAQs »

Partner Center

World News from MarketWatch

Link to MarketWatch's Slice.