Europe Stocks Gain 20% From 2020 Low on Optimism Virus Slowing

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European equities rose after the Easter holiday weekend, extending their gains to 20% from the March low, amid optimism that the spread of new coronavirus infections in many major countries is slowing and as investors assessed earnings reports.

The Stoxx Europe 600 Index advanced as much as 1.3%, led by miners and chemical resources. AstraZeneca Plc rallied 5.3% after announcing the Tagrisso Phase III ADAURA trial will be unblinded early after “overwhelming efficacy.”

Investors returned after a long holiday weekend to positive news that China’s exports in yuan terms fell less than expected and figures showed a continued easing in the rate of new infections in regions from New York to Spain. The European earnings season kicks off this week, with market players carefully watching for dividend and buyback cuts as well as reduced earnings projections. The market was also weighing the Federal Reserve’s decision to dial back its support for the market through repurchase agreements following signs that the recent upheaval in dollar funding has eased.

“The better-than-expected China macro data and the latest Fed announcements improved the sentiment further,” said Ulrich Urbahn, head of multi-asset strategy and research at Joh Berenberg Gossler & Co. “Many investors gradually fear missing out. However, the uncertainty remains enormous, so it seems right to us to only increase risk assets step by step, especially since we have been somewhat overweight in equities for the past three weeks.”

The benchmark index was 0.9% higher as of 8:13 a.m. in London.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.