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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 +0.74%  climbed 2.5% to 333.27, while the German /zigman2/quotes/210597999/delayed DX:DAX +0.84%  rose 2.8%, the French CAC 40 /zigman2/quotes/210597958/delayed FR:PX1 +0.80%  gained 2.7% and the FTSE 100 index /zigman2/quotes/210598409/delayed UK:UKX +0.57%  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 +0.14% shot up over 600 points, or 2.8%, while S&P 500 futures /zigman2/quotes/209948968/delayed ES00 -0.09%  and Nasdaq-100 futures /zigman2/quotes/210219788/delayed NQ00 -0.29%  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 +0.85% 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 -0.27%  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 +0.28%  , AstraZeneca PLC /zigman2/quotes/200304487/composite AZN -1.35%   /zigman2/quotes/203048482/delayed UK:AZN -1.40%  , Sanofi SA /zigman2/quotes/201967021/composite SNY -1.29%  and Novo Nordisk /zigman2/quotes/207193277/delayed DK:NOVO.B -0.79%  were all up over 1%.

Shares of Nokia Corp. /zigman2/quotes/207421390/composite NOK -1.14%   /zigman2/quotes/203672305/delayed FI:NOKIA +0.65%  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 +3.59%  , Hugo Boss AG /zigman2/quotes/205761551/delayed DE:BOSS +0.21%  and luxury-goods maker LVMH Moet Hennessy Luis Vuitton SE /zigman2/quotes/201350549/delayed FR:MC +1.01% all up 5% or more. 

/zigman2/quotes/210599654/delayed
XX : STOXX
438.93
+3.21 +0.74%
Volume: 0.00
Aug. 8, 2022 5:50p
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/zigman2/quotes/210597999/delayed
DAX
DX : Xetra Indices
13,687.69
+113.76 +0.84%
Volume: 51,639
Aug. 8, 2022 6:30p
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/zigman2/quotes/210597958/delayed
FR : France: Euronext Paris
6,524.44
+52.09 +0.80%
Volume: 57,501
Aug. 8, 2022 6:05p
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/zigman2/quotes/210598409/delayed
UK : FTSE UK
7,482.37
+42.63 +0.57%
Volume: 582,838
Aug. 8, 2022 4:58p
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/zigman2/quotes/210407078/delayed
US : U.S.: CBOT
$ 32,803.00
+46.00 +0.14%
Volume: 178,006
Aug. 8, 2022 3:04p
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/zigman2/quotes/209948968/delayed
US : U.S.: CME
$ 4,143.00
-3.75 -0.09%
Volume: 1.47M
Aug. 8, 2022 3:04p
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/zigman2/quotes/210219788/delayed
US : U.S.: CME
$ 13,190.25
-38.50 -0.29%
Volume: 586,610
Aug. 8, 2022 3:04p
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/zigman2/quotes/210293917/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 61.60
+0.52 +0.85%
Volume: 3.72M
Aug. 8, 2022 4:00p
P/E Ratio
18.77
Dividend Yield
4.74%
Market Cap
$76.63 billion
Rev. per Employee
$1.91M
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/zigman2/quotes/206324342/delayed
CH : Switzerland: SWX
CHF 315.85
-0.85 -0.27%
Volume: 500,459
Aug. 8, 2022 5:31p
P/E Ratio
17.87
Dividend Yield
2.94%
Market Cap
CHF261.50 billion
Rev. per Employee
CHF637,961
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/zigman2/quotes/203286410/delayed
CH : Switzerland: SWX
CHF 82.28
+0.23 +0.28%
Volume: 2.44M
Aug. 8, 2022 5:31p
P/E Ratio
8.70
Dividend Yield
3.77%
Market Cap
CHF179.98 billion
Rev. per Employee
CHF460,814
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/zigman2/quotes/200304487/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 65.12
-0.89 -1.35%
Volume: 3.27M
Aug. 8, 2022 4:00p
P/E Ratio
N/A
Dividend Yield
2.18%
Market Cap
$203.04 billion
Rev. per Employee
$531,227
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/zigman2/quotes/203048482/delayed
UK : U.K.: London
10,714.00 p
-152.00 -1.40%
Volume: 1.12M
Aug. 8, 2022 4:35p
P/E Ratio
N/A
Dividend Yield
2.07%
Market Cap
£168.37 billion
Rev. per Employee
£399,908
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/zigman2/quotes/201967021/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 49.08
-0.64 -1.29%
Volume: 1.34M
Aug. 8, 2022 4:00p
P/E Ratio
16.50
Dividend Yield
2.57%
Market Cap
$124.82 billion
Rev. per Employee
$474,871
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/zigman2/quotes/207193277/delayed
DK : Denmark: OMX
kr. 750.00
-6.00 -0.79%
Volume: 1.91M
Aug. 8, 2022 4:59p
P/E Ratio
33.93
Dividend Yield
1.49%
Market Cap
kr.1702.04 billion
Rev. per Employee
kr.3.29M
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/zigman2/quotes/207421390/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 5.19
-0.06 -1.14%
Volume: 26.04M
Aug. 8, 2022 4:00p
P/E Ratio
15.60
Dividend Yield
0.56%
Market Cap
$29.26 billion
Rev. per Employee
N/A
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/zigman2/quotes/203672305/delayed
FI : Finland: Helsinki
5.12
+0.03 +0.65%
Volume: 9.01M
Aug. 8, 2022 6:29p
P/E Ratio
17.31
Dividend Yield
1.56%
Market Cap
€28.79 billion
Rev. per Employee
N/A
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/zigman2/quotes/208522175/delayed
SE : Sweden: Stockholm
kr 133.82
+4.64 +3.59%
Volume: 2.46M
Aug. 8, 2022 5:29p
P/E Ratio
16.76
Dividend Yield
4.86%
Market Cap
kr213.80 billion
Rev. per Employee
kr1.39M
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/zigman2/quotes/205761551/delayed
DE : Germany: Frankfurt
58.32
+0.12 +0.21%
Volume: 680.00
Aug. 8, 2022 8:01a
P/E Ratio
N/A
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
N/A
Rev. per Employee
€190,396
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/zigman2/quotes/201350549/delayed
FR : France: Euronext Paris
689.10
+6.90 +1.01%
Volume: 214,886
Aug. 8, 2022 5:35p
P/E Ratio
26.12
Dividend Yield
1.74%
Market Cap
€342.66 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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