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European shares rallied for a second straight day on Tuesday, with investors focusing on early signs that the coronavirus pandemic may be easing, even as major companies still take steps to shore up cash after lockdowns crushed global demand.
The pan-European STOXX 600 index rose 2.7% at 0716 GMT - hitting its highest in almost a month, with governors of several hard-hit U.S. states pointing to tentative signs the outbreak might be starting to plateau.
Spanish stocks jumped 2.2% as coronavirus deaths slowed for a fourth day on Monday, prompting the government to contemplate a gradual easing of a nationwide lockdown.
The benchmark STOXX 600 index has now gained more than 22% since hitting an eight-year low in March, but remains more than 24% below its February record high, when the worldwide spread of the novel coronavirus sparked a virtual halt in business activity.
France's Thales on Tuesday became the latest major company to slash its dividend and suspend profit forecasts, but its shares rose 1.8% after it said it had signed a new 2 billion euro ($2.17 billion) credit facility to shore up liquidity.
The British aero-engine maker jumped 15.4% after losing more than half its value this year, as it secured an extra 1.5 billion pounds ($1.8 billion) in reserves, even though it suspended its dividend for the first time since 1987.
Spain confirmed another 838 deaths in 24 hours from coronavirus on Sunday, a new daily record bringing the total number of deaths to 6,528, according to health ministry figures.
The worldwide number of officially confirmed fatalities from the novel coronavirus rose to 31,412 on Sunday, according to a tally compiled by AFP at 1000 GMT from official sources.
With a total of 75,011 deaths from 909,673 infections, Europe is the hardest-hit continent in the COVID-19 pandemic, which has killed at least 109,133 people worldwide. Europe's most affected country is Italy with 19,468 deaths, followed by Spain with 16,972, France with 13,832 and Britain with 9,875.
The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits fell more than expected last week as companies held onto their workers amid a growing labour shortage that helped to curb job growth in April.
Amazon announced plans Thursday to add 75,000 jobs in the United States and Canada as part of a further ramping up of the e-commerce giant’s massive warehouse and logistics network.
Gold touched a one-week low on Thursday, as US Treasury yields rose and the dollar firmed after a bigger-than-expected rise in US consumer prices boosted bets for early interest rate hikes.
As the current Auto Development Policy (ADP 2016-21) is about to end in June this year, the government is preparing a new auto policy that will focus on facilitating the manufacturing of low-cost cars and incentivise auto exports.