European stocks end higher on vaccine rollout, recovery hope

Published On: February 16, 2021Categories: Stocks & Shares1.4 min read

The pan-European Stoxx 600 finished 1.4% higher, led by media stocks which gained 4.2%

Markets in Europe finished higher on Monday, as successful vaccine rollouts fuelled hopes of a global economic recovery.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 finished 1.4% higher, led by media stocks which gained 4.2% amid a sharp rise in shares of Vivendi.

European stocks followed from gains in Asia-Pacific. Japan’s Nikkei 225 surged past the 30,000 level for the first time in more than 30 years, after government data showed the Japanese economy growing 12.7% on an annualized basis between October and December 2020.

Trading volumes were low in China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and the U.S. as markets in these regions were closed on Monday for holidays.

Stocks moved higher this month on optimism that the U.S. government will provide more fiscal stimulus for the economy, encouraging company earnings reports, and hopes that the coronavirus vaccine rollout will boost economic growth in the second half of this year.

Markets remain target fixated on the Biden stimulus and vaccine rollouts as the magic panacea for the world’s pandemic ills, Jeffrey Halley of Oanda said in a commentary.

Oil prices spiked amid fears of an escalation of tensions in the Middle East. Brent crude added 1.5% at $63.36 per barrel on Monday afternoon in Europe.

In other news, the U.K. has now issued a first Covid-19 vaccine dose to over 15 million people across its priority categories, which Prime Minister Boris Johnson described over the weekend as an “extraordinary feat.”

Shares of Vivendi surged almost 20% on Monday after the French media company announced plans to list Universal Music on the stock market and distribute 60% of the capital to shareholders. French transportation group Bollore, which has a stake in Vivendi, rallied nearly 15%.

Belgian pharmaceutical company Galapagos was at the bottom of the European blue chip index, sliding nearly 6%.

About the Author: Jonathan Adams

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