By Callum Keown
European stocks nudged higher on Wednesday as investors attempted to look beyond the spreading coronavirus.
The Stoxx Europe 600 /zigman2/quotes/210599654/delayed XX:SXXP -1.59% climbed 0.5% in early trading, having slipped to seven-week lows on Tuesday as the China virus death toll continued to rise.
The German DAX /zigman2/quotes/210597999/delayed DX:DAX -1.85% was 0.2% up, while the French CAC /zigman2/quotes/210597958/delayed FR:PX1 -1.60% rose 0.5% and the FTSE 100 /zigman2/quotes/210598409/delayed UK:UKX -2.10% gained 0.3%.
What’s moving markets?
The number of confirmed cases of coronavirus has risen to 5,974—more than the SARS epidemic —China’s national health commission said on Wednesday, while the death toll rose to 132.
Asian markets were mostly higher overnight, recovered from losses earlier in the week, but Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index plunged 2.4% on its first day back from the Lunar New Year holiday.
European markets followed the majority of their Asian counterparts in recovering losses on Wednesday.
A series of economic data also helped boost sentiment in Europe. German consumer confidence unexpectedly rose in January, according to research group GfK. French consumer sentiment also enjoyed a surprise boost despite the national strikes, the country’s official statistics agency reported.
European Central Bank member Olli Rehn added to the positivity and said eurozone growth could beat expectations if global risks subside.
Which stocks are active?
LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton /zigman2/quotes/206499835/delayed IT:LVMH -0.93% shares climbed 0.4% as the luxury goods giant said its fourth-quarter revenue rose strongly and earnings finished the year on a high.
Norway’s Telenor /zigman2/quotes/202494499/delayed NO:TEL -0.86% rose 1.6% after the telecoms company reported higher-than-expected quarterly operating profit and said earnings would rise in 2020, after falling last year.