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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 +0.88%  climbed 2.5% to 333.27, while the German /zigman2/quotes/210597999/delayed DX:DAX +0.78%  rose 2.8%, the French CAC 40 /zigman2/quotes/210597958/delayed FR:PX1 +0.87%  gained 2.7% and the FTSE 100 index /zigman2/quotes/210598409/delayed UK:UKX +0.28%  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 +0.02% shot up over 600 points, or 2.8%, while S&P 500 futures /zigman2/quotes/209948968/delayed ES00 +0.19%  and Nasdaq-100 futures /zigman2/quotes/210219788/delayed NQ00 +0.31%  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 -0.83% 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 -0.77%  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 -0.74%  , AstraZeneca PLC /zigman2/quotes/200304487/composite AZN -0.16%   /zigman2/quotes/203048482/delayed UK:AZN -0.44%  , Sanofi SA /zigman2/quotes/201967021/composite SNY -0.63%  and Novo Nordisk /zigman2/quotes/207193277/delayed DK:NOVO.B -1.10%  were all up over 1%.

Shares of Nokia Corp. /zigman2/quotes/207421390/composite NOK +3.25%   /zigman2/quotes/203672305/delayed FI:NOKIA +3.25%  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 +7.15%  , Hugo Boss AG /zigman2/quotes/205761551/delayed DE:BOSS +1.81%  and luxury-goods maker LVMH Moet Hennessy Luis Vuitton SE /zigman2/quotes/201350549/delayed FR:MC +2.84% all up 5% or more. 

/zigman2/quotes/210599654/delayed
XX : STOXX
441.54
+3.83 +0.88%
Volume: 0.00
May 27, 2022 1:31p
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/zigman2/quotes/210597999/delayed
DAX
DX : Xetra Indices
14,342.92
+111.63 +0.78%
Volume: 26,484
May 27, 2022 1:31p
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/zigman2/quotes/210597958/delayed
FR : France: Euronext Paris
6,466.51
+55.93 +0.87%
Volume: 22,410
May 27, 2022 1:31p
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/zigman2/quotes/210598409/delayed
UK : FTSE UK
7,586.17
+21.25 +0.28%
Volume: 174,550
May 27, 2022 12:31p
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/zigman2/quotes/210407078/delayed
US : U.S.: CBOT
$ 32,607.00
+7.00 +0.02%
Volume: 22,980
May 27, 2022 6:36a
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/zigman2/quotes/209948968/delayed
US : U.S.: CME
$ 4,063.50
+7.75 +0.19%
Volume: 150,610
May 27, 2022 6:36a
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/zigman2/quotes/210219788/delayed
US : U.S.: CME
$ 12,317.25
+38.00 +0.31%
Volume: 93,010
May 27, 2022 6:36a
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/zigman2/quotes/210293917/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 64.47
-0.54 -0.83%
Volume: 5.73M
May 26, 2022 4:00p
P/E Ratio
18.01
Dividend Yield
4.53%
Market Cap
$81.54 billion
Rev. per Employee
$1.91M
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/zigman2/quotes/206324342/delayed
CH : Switzerland: SWX
CHF 330.45
-2.55 -0.77%
Volume: 489,081
May 27, 2022 1:31p
P/E Ratio
20.40
Dividend Yield
2.81%
Market Cap
CHF271.31 billion
Rev. per Employee
CHF622,285
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/zigman2/quotes/203286410/delayed
CH : Switzerland: SWX
CHF 87.17
-0.65 -0.74%
Volume: 1.88M
May 27, 2022 1:31p
P/E Ratio
8.82
Dividend Yield
3.56%
Market Cap
CHF192.63 billion
Rev. per Employee
CHF455,626
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/zigman2/quotes/200304487/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 66.70
-0.11 -0.16%
Volume: 6.22M
May 26, 2022 4:00p
P/E Ratio
N/A
Dividend Yield
2.11%
Market Cap
$206.05 billion
Rev. per Employee
$500,529
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/zigman2/quotes/203048482/delayed
UK : U.K.: London
10,500.00 p
-46.00 -0.44%
Volume: 266,813
May 27, 2022 12:31p
P/E Ratio
N/A
Dividend Yield
2.00%
Market Cap
£164.24 billion
Rev. per Employee
£367,302
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/zigman2/quotes/201967021/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 55.50
-0.35 -0.63%
Volume: 1.88M
May 26, 2022 4:00p
P/E Ratio
19.01
Dividend Yield
2.27%
Market Cap
$139.23 billion
Rev. per Employee
$467,643
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/zigman2/quotes/207193277/delayed
DK : Denmark: OMX
kr. 738.60
-8.20 -1.10%
Volume: 1.50M
May 25, 2022 4:59p
P/E Ratio
34.34
Dividend Yield
1.41%
Market Cap
kr.1662.86 billion
Rev. per Employee
kr.3.12M
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/zigman2/quotes/207421390/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 5.09
+0.16 +3.25%
Volume: 36.66M
May 26, 2022 4:00p
P/E Ratio
15.86
Dividend Yield
0.29%
Market Cap
$28.01 billion
Rev. per Employee
N/A
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/zigman2/quotes/203672305/delayed
FI : Finland: Helsinki
4.79
+0.15 +3.25%
Volume: 4.50M
May 27, 2022 2:31p
P/E Ratio
17.33
Dividend Yield
1.67%
Market Cap
€26.22 billion
Rev. per Employee
N/A
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/zigman2/quotes/208522175/delayed
SE : Sweden: Stockholm
kr 130.64
+8.72 +7.15%
Volume: 3.85M
May 27, 2022 1:31p
P/E Ratio
17.58
Dividend Yield
4.98%
Market Cap
kr201.79 billion
Rev. per Employee
kr1.34M
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/zigman2/quotes/205761551/delayed
DE : Germany: Frankfurt
47.94
+0.85 +1.81%
Volume: 450.00
May 27, 2022 8:47a
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
587.40
+16.20 +2.84%
Volume: 168,281
May 27, 2022 1:31p
P/E Ratio
24.59
Dividend Yield
1.70%
Market Cap
€277.59 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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