European stocks open higher after Asia bounce

Shares rose despite concerns that Covid-19 hotspots could disrupt recovery

Photograph: iStock

Photograph: iStock

 

European shares opened higher on Friday after upbeat China data fuelled a bounce in Asian markets, but another record surge in US coronavirus cases checked overall investor optimism.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 index rose 0.2 per cent to hover near its strongest level in three weeks, but trading volumes were thinned by a US holiday.

Technology stocks led the gains, rising 0.8 per cent, while insurers and banks were the biggest decliners.

The benchmark index was headed for a modest weekly gain after a batch of strong data pointed to a recovery from the coronavirus crisis, but the United States set a new daily global record for Covid-19 cases on Thursday, driving many US states to delay reopening plans.

Germany’s Delivery Hero jumped 4.1 per cent after the takeaway food company said its order growth nearly doubled in the second quarter.

UK retailer Next fell 3.0 per cent after Goldman Sachs downgraded the stock to “sell”, while AB Foods slipped 1.3 per cent after the US bank downgraded its stock to “neutral”.

Gold, meanwhile, is on course for a fourth week of gains, sitting just below $1,800 an ounce.

Elsewhere, oil came back from its highest level in almost four months. – Reuters/Bloomberg