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Riku Tanaka
May 11 21:00

Europe’s stocks higher; Lockdown easing brings investor optimism

European financial exchanges saw gains Monday (May 11), amid growing sentiment as more and more nations took measures open their economies back for business.
At 3:45 AM ET (0735 GMT), the DAX in Germany exchanged 0.5% higher, and France's CAC 40 gaines 0.2%. The UK's FTSE index rose by 0.8%, compensating for lost time due to Friday’s holiday closing.
France, the eurozone’s second biggest economy, unveiled plans to carefully ease from perhaps the strictest lockdown in the region on Monday (May 11). Meanwhile the UK, presently the hardest hit nation in Europe in terms of pandemic-related fatalities, has also declared conditional plants to reduce lockdown measures.
Other European nations have already started to loosen social distancing measures before today’s announcements from France and the UK, including such countries as Denmark, Norway, Spain, Italy, Austria and Germany.
Europe’s economy was no stranger to financial effects that resulted from the measures taken by the governments to close down their individual economies to curb the spread of the global contagion.
European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde stated nearly a month ago that the European economy could contract by as much as 15% as a result of the pandemic.
In corporate news, Ericsson stock jumped by 0.9% in the wake of raising its predictions for 5G memberships worldwide to around 2.8 billion by 2025 from the previous 2.6 billion. German consumer good producer Henkel remained flat subsequent to announcing that the pandemic boosted sales of cleaning items in Q1 2020, while payments firm Wirecard stock rose 8.8% after the it appointed a new chief compliance officer. However, Wisecard is still down 30% following a report by KPMG into suspect bookkeeping practices failed to demonstrate the executives' innocence.
As for the drops, easyJet stock slumped by over 7% after the United Kingdom regulators unveiled plans over the weekend to implement a two week mandatory quarantine on incoming travelers.
Oil futures also slumped back on Monday (May 11), evening out after recent gains had pushed the segment out of recent record-breaking lows.
At 3:45 AM ET, US crude June futures exchanged 2.2% lower at US$24.20 a barrel. The global benchmark Brent contract fell 2.1% to US$30.32.
Meanwhile, gold futures dropped 0.3% to US$1,708.80/oz, while EUR/USD exchanged at 1.0833, down 0.1%.