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European stocks shrug off virus worries, hit record highs

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02/06/2020 | 05:51am EST

So much for worries about the coronavirus.

European stocks shrugged off any such concerns Thursday (February 6) to hit record highs.

That followed earlier gains for Wall Street and Asia, helped by a Chinese pledge to cut tariffs on U.S. goods.

And as virus fears ease, European investors are also finding hope in earnings reports.

Arcelor Mittal the standout on Thursday.

Shares in the steelmaker jumped as much as ten percent in early trade.

That after it said debt was at record lows, profit was better than expected and steel consumption looked set to rise.

Banks added to the good cheer, with results suggesting the sector is coping well with a world of zero interest rates.

Shares in Unicredit, Italy's biggest lender, rose almost 6% after its losses came in lower than expected.

France's Societe Generale gained 1.3% after it said its capital position had improved.

The bullish sentiment saw money flow out of traditional safe havens, with German government bonds among the losers.

Overall the pan European STOXX 600 index gained about 0.7% in the first minutes of trade, though it soon gave up some of those early gains.

Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
EURO STOXX 50 -0.59% 3800.38 Delayed Quote.2.08%
STOXX EUROPE 600 -0.49% 428.07 Delayed Quote.3.45%
STOXX EUROPE 600 NR -0.49% 925.44 Delayed Quote.3.62%
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