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April 17, 2020, 11:16 a.m. EDT

European stocks climb on hopes over coronavirus drug treatment

Bleak China growth data overlooked for now

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By Barbara Kollmeyer, MarketWatch


AFP via Getty Images
This picture taken on April 16, 2020, shows a deserted Piazza Navona in Rome during the lockdown of the country to curb the spread of the COVID-19 epidemic caused by the new coronavirus.

European stocks climbed on Friday, as investors brushed aside poor China growth data to focus on a potentially promising treatment for coronavirus and continued hopes for re-opening of major economies.

The Stoxx Europe 600 index /zigman2/quotes/210599654/delayed XX:SXXP +0.18%  climbed 2.5% to 333.27, while the German /zigman2/quotes/210597999/delayed DX:DAX +0.21%  rose 2.8%, the French CAC 40 /zigman2/quotes/210597958/delayed FR:PX1 +0.94%  gained 2.7% and the FTSE 100 index /zigman2/quotes/210598409/delayed UK:UKX -0.50%  added 2.5%.

Wall Street also indicated a higher start for trading later. Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average /zigman2/quotes/210407078/delayed YM00 +1.53% shot up over 600 points, or 2.8%, while S&P 500 futures /zigman2/quotes/209948968/delayed ES00 +1.35%  and Nasdaq-100 futures /zigman2/quotes/210219788/delayed NQ00 +1.05%  advanced 2.7% and 1.8%, respectively.

Gains came after researchers at University of Chicago Medicine cited “rapid recoveries” in 125 COVID-19 patients taking Gilead’s /zigman2/quotes/210293917/composite GILD -0.15% experimental drug remdesivir as part of a clinical trial, according to a report.

Investors seized on signs of potential progress over a treatment for the potentially fatal illness, as well as guidelines announced by President Donald Trump to reopen the U.S. economy, though he didn’t indicate a clear time frame. The U.S. appears to be at the center of the worst outbreak as Europe’s infections slow and some countries have started relaxing restrictions.

Markets appeared to be overlooking China data showing a 6.8% plunge in first-quarter growth, the first contraction on record due to the pandemic. The country was at the epicenter of the initial outbreak late last year.

Most sectors were in the black, with drugmakers out in front. Shares of Stoxx heavyweight Roche Holding AG /zigman2/quotes/206324342/delayed CH:ROG -0.28%  rose nearly 2% after the Swiss group said it was developing a new serology test to detect antibodies in patients exposed to the coronavirus.

Shares of Novartis AG /zigman2/quotes/203286410/delayed CH:NOVN -0.16%  , AstraZeneca PLC /zigman2/quotes/200304487/composite AZN +0.79%   /zigman2/quotes/203048482/delayed UK:AZN -1.14%  , Sanofi SA /zigman2/quotes/201967021/composite SNY +0.93%  and Novo Nordisk /zigman2/quotes/207193277/delayed DK:NOVO.B +0.24%  were all up over 1%.

Shares of Nokia Corp. /zigman2/quotes/207421390/composite NOK -28.47%   /zigman2/quotes/203672305/delayed FI:NOKIA -9.43%  climbed over 4%, continuing gains from Thursday after Reuters reported that the Finnish telecommunications group had hired Citigroup to defend it from a hostile takeover bid. A Nokia spokesman could not immediately be reached for comment.

Apparel makers were also on the rise, with shares of H&M Hennes & Mauritz AB /zigman2/quotes/208522175/delayed SE:HM.B +1.32%  , Hugo Boss AG /zigman2/quotes/205761551/delayed DE:BOSS -1.69%  and luxury-goods maker LVMH Moet Hennessy Luis Vuitton SE /zigman2/quotes/201350549/delayed FR:MC +1.58% all up 5% or more. 

/zigman2/quotes/210599654/delayed
XX : STOXX
403.70
+0.72 +0.18%
Volume: 0.00
Jan. 28, 2021 4:27p
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/zigman2/quotes/210597999/delayed
DAX
DX : Xetra Indices
13,648.56
+28.10 +0.21%
Volume: 63,793
Jan. 28, 2021 4:27p
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/zigman2/quotes/210597958/delayed
FR : France: Euronext Paris
5,510.94
+51.32 +0.94%
Volume: 69,119
Jan. 28, 2021 4:27p
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/zigman2/quotes/210598409/delayed
UK : FTSE UK
6,534.45
-32.92 -0.50%
Volume: 510,983
Jan. 28, 2021 3:27p
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/zigman2/quotes/210407078/delayed
US : U.S.: CBOT
$ 30,650.00
+461.00 +1.53%
Volume: 163,322
Jan. 28, 2021 9:32a
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/zigman2/quotes/209948968/delayed
US : U.S.: CME
$ 3,794.75
+50.55 +1.35%
Volume: 1.01M
Jan. 28, 2021 9:32a
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/zigman2/quotes/210219788/delayed
US : U.S.: CME
$ 13,243.25
+137.75 +1.05%
Volume: 318,246
Jan. 28, 2021 9:32a
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/zigman2/quotes/210293917/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 65.39
-0.09 -0.15%
Volume: 1.33M
Jan. 28, 2021 10:42a
P/E Ratio
68.16
Dividend Yield
4.14%
Market Cap
$82.08 billion
Rev. per Employee
$1.89M
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/zigman2/quotes/206324342/delayed
CH : Switzerland: SWX
CHF 319.30
-0.90 -0.28%
Volume: 975,731
Jan. 28, 2021 4:27p
P/E Ratio
21.34
Dividend Yield
2.82%
Market Cap
CHF274.68 billion
Rev. per Employee
CHF628,905
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/zigman2/quotes/203286410/delayed
CH : Switzerland: SWX
CHF 83.69
-0.13 -0.16%
Volume: 4.38M
Jan. 28, 2021 4:27p
P/E Ratio
25.32
Dividend Yield
3.52%
Market Cap
CHF184.80 billion
Rev. per Employee
N/A
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/zigman2/quotes/200304487/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 52.51
+0.41 +0.79%
Volume: 2.64M
Jan. 28, 2021 10:42a
P/E Ratio
55.04
Dividend Yield
2.60%
Market Cap
$139.92 billion
Rev. per Employee
$346,812
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/zigman2/quotes/203048482/delayed
UK : U.K.: London
7,690.00 p
-89.00 -1.14%
Volume: 1.48M
Jan. 28, 2021 3:27p
P/E Ratio
51.39
Dividend Yield
2.81%
Market Cap
£102.11 billion
Rev. per Employee
£270,731
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/zigman2/quotes/201967021/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 47.77
+0.44 +0.93%
Volume: 1.28M
Jan. 28, 2021 10:42a
P/E Ratio
9.80
Dividend Yield
2.46%
Market Cap
$120.11 billion
Rev. per Employee
$402,693
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/zigman2/quotes/207193277/delayed
DK : Denmark: OMX
kr. 438.80
+1.05 +0.24%
Volume: 2.13M
Jan. 28, 2021 4:27p
P/E Ratio
24.82
Dividend Yield
1.96%
Market Cap
kr.1007.51 billion
Rev. per Employee
kr.2.82M
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/zigman2/quotes/207421390/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 4.69
-1.87 -28.47%
Volume: 387.65M
Jan. 28, 2021 10:42a
P/E Ratio
33.42
Dividend Yield
0.00%
Market Cap
$29.88 billion
Rev. per Employee
N/A
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/zigman2/quotes/203672305/delayed
FI : Finland: Helsinki
3.99
-0.42 -9.43%
Volume: 254.76M
Jan. 28, 2021 5:27p
P/E Ratio
30.61
Dividend Yield
0.00%
Market Cap
€24.72 billion
Rev. per Employee
N/A
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/zigman2/quotes/208522175/delayed
SE : Sweden: Stockholm
kr 188.35
+2.45 +1.32%
Volume: 4.14M
Jan. 28, 2021 4:27p
P/E Ratio
104.96
Dividend Yield
0.00%
Market Cap
kr307.68 billion
Rev. per Employee
N/A
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/zigman2/quotes/205761551/delayed
DE : Germany: Frankfurt
30.82
-0.53 -1.69%
Volume: 1,408
Jan. 28, 2021 3:56p
P/E Ratio
N/A
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
N/A
Rev. per Employee
€190,396
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/201350549/delayed
FR : France: Euronext Paris
514.40
+8.00 +1.58%
Volume: 253,343
Jan. 28, 2021 4:27p
P/E Ratio
55.19
Dividend Yield
0.89%
Market Cap
€254.90 billion
Rev. per Employee
N/A
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Barbara Kollmeyer is an editor for MarketWatch in Madrid. Follow her on Twitter @bkollmeyer.

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