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Sep 28, 2020

European Markets Closing Report: European shares close 2% higher as banks bounce; HSBC soars 9%

 

Elliot Smith


European stocks rallied Monday, recovering from their worst week since mid-June, with a global rise in coronavirus cases and political developments stateside on investors' radar.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 jumped 2.3% by the close with banks surging 5% to lead gains, as all sectors and major bourses finished in positive territory.

The European blue-chip index had closed 3.7% lower for the week on Friday after a choppy session, with global markets roiled by a resurgence in coronavirus cases on the continent and further afield.

However, markets received a boost Monday from signs that the Chinese economic recovery is gathering steam, with fiscal stimulus, pent-up demand and positive export data boosting sentiment.

The U.S. has seen a rise in daily cases ahead of Tuesday's first presidential debate between President Donald Trump and Democratic challenger Joe Biden, with a Supreme Court fight also looming over Republican efforts to replace the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg with conservative Amy Coney Barrett before the Nov. 3 election.

In Europe, Bank of England policymaker Silvana Tenreyro said in an interview published over the weekend that the central bank's investigation into whether negative interest rates could help the British economic recovery has yielded "encouraging" results.

In corporate news, Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche announced over the weekend that he would relinquish his role as chairman of the German automaker, with investors now calling for an independent figure to lead the supervisory board.

Commerzbank has named Manfred Knof, formerly head of German retail banking at Deutsche Bank, as its new CEO. Knof will replace Martin Zielke, who resigned in July along with chairman Stefan Schmittmann following a period of intense pressure from activist investors.

Siemens Energy debuted on the Frankfurt stock exchange Monday following its spinoff from tech giant Siemens, but fell slightly from their 21.60 euros ($25.20) listing price.

Biggest movers

HSBC shares surged 9.2% by early afternoon after China's Ping An Insurance announced that it would increase its stake in Europe's largest lender.

The rally extended across the banking sector, with Deutsche Bank and Standard Chartered, Barclays and Credit Agricole all adding more than 5%.

Reuters reported Sunday, citing sources, that Luxembourg steel giant ArcelorMittal is in talks to merge its U.S. assets with Cleveland-Cliffs, the largest producer of iron ore pellets in the U.S. ArcelorMittal shares rallied 10%.

Swiss hearing aid manufacturer Sonova climbed 12.8% to lead the Stoxx 600 after raising its guidance, while Danish rival Demant added 9%. French real estate trust Klepierre jumped 11%.

At the bottom of the European benchmark, airplane engine manufacturer Rolls-Royce slid a further 3.6%.

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