Europe close: Shares close higher on Russia Covid vaccine hopes
European stocks closed the day strong but off intra-day highs driven by hopes of more US stimulus and reports of a new coronavirus vaccine developed by Russia, which in turn spurred sentiment in heavyweight travel stocks.
The pan-European STOXX 600 index closed the day 1.68% higher at 370.76 points. All major bourses were higher, with the bullish mood even allowing London’s FTSE 100 to shrug off the biggest rise in the number of jobless since 2009.
Travel shares were up, with airlines group IAG and Norwegian, holiday operator TUI and cruises company Carnival all higher on suggestions the Russian vaccine could be produced by next month.
There were also gains for the auto sector in Germany, after car sales in China surged for the fourth month in a row, with July seeing a gain of 16.4% year on year, with electric vehicle sales rising 19% as consumer demand in the world’s biggest vehicle market picked up after the coronavirus lockdown. Continental shares soared on the news.
Cineworld was the standout gainer, up almost 40% at one point during the session on speculation the movie house operator could be go private after a US court ruling fuelled renewed takeover speculation.
A judge in New York last Friday agreed to terminate the Paramount Decrees — a set of competition rules introduced in the late 1940s that were designed to end Hollywood’s grip on the production, distribution and exhibition of blockbuster movies.
The company runs more than 500 US sites under the Regal brand, which it bought for £2.7bn two years ago, and could itself be taken over by a big American studio.
Shares in German recipe-in-a-box delivery firm HelloFresh were higher after it raised its full-year guidance after second-quarter sales and core profit soared on the back of strong demand for food deliveries during coronavirus lockdowns in the US and other markets.
The company saw increased demand amid a resurgence the virus in some markets and higher retention of its customers.