April 6, 2020 / 7:15 AM / 2 months ago

European shares jump as coronavirus deaths slow

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April 6 (Reuters) - European shares rebounded on Monday as a slowdown in coronavirus deaths in France and Italy raised hopes that sweeping lockdowns were starting to show results.

The benchmark STOXX 600 index was up 2.9% at 0707 GMT, after ending Friday with its sixth weekly decline in seven as the health crisis stalled business activity.

Italian and French bourses jumped 3.5% and 3.4%, respectively, as data showed Italy reported its lowest daily death toll for more than two weeks on Sunday, while France’s death toll dropped and admissions into intensive care slowed.

The STOXX 600 index has lost more than $3 trillion in market value since February as the slump in economic activity brought many sectors to the verge of collapse, forcing companies to suspend dividends and share buyback to shore up cash.

British aero-engine maker Rolls-Royce scrapped its final dividend on Monday, but its shares jumped 5% after it said it had secured an additional 1.5 billion pounds ($1.8 billion) in reserves to manoeuvre a potential prolonged downturn. (Reporting by Sagarika Jaisinghani in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur)

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