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UPDATE 2-European shares end at near 9-month high on potential easing of virus curbs

Stock Markets Nov 25, 2020 01:40
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(For a Reuters live blog on U.S., UK and European stock
markets, click LIVE/ or type LIVE/ in a news window)
* Energy and travel stocks boost benchmark index
* Germany's DAX to expand to 40 members from 30
* Daily COVID-19 cases in France at near two-month low

(Updates to close)
By Shriya Ramakrishnan and Shashank Nayar
Nov 24 (Reuters) - European shares ended higher on Tuesday,
as the potential easing of lockdowns in France combined with
optimism around the deployment of a coronavirus vaccine as early
as the beginning of next year to lift hopes of a swift economic
recovery.
The pan-European STOXX 600 index .STOXX rose 0.8% to its
strongest close since late February, supported by strong gains
in oil & gas stocks .SXEP , which were set for their best month
on record as crude prices hit their highest levels since late
March.
"Oil acts as an economic bellwether and the commodity has
been on a tear for the past month, rising by more than 20% in
value as markets start to become more optimistic about economic
activity amid positive vaccine news," said Russ Mould,
investment director at AJ Bell.
The benchmark STOXX 600 has surged 14.5% so far this month
and is on track for its highest monthly gain on record.
"Investors are drowning out the noise of potential near-term
risk and purely focusing on the vaccine optimism coupled with
positive political developments from the U.S." said Craig Erlam,
senior market analyst at OANDA.
However, Europe's businesses struggled during the month as
fresh lockdown measures forced many firms to temporarily shut
shop as a second wave of coronavirus infections swept across the
continent. German shares .GDAXI jumped 1.3%, with exchange operator
Deutsche Boerse DB1Gn.DE revealing that the blue-chip index
would expand to 40 from the current 30 companies with tougher
membership criteria.
Data also showed that Europe's biggest economy grew by a
record 8.5% in the third quarter. France's benchmark CAC 40 .FCHI rose 1.2% after the
country on Monday reported its lowest daily tally of COVID-19
infections since Sept. 28, while investors awaited a speech by
President Emmanuel Macron later on Tuesday when he may announce
a relaxation of lockdown rules. Italy's FTSE MIB .FTMIB was the top gainer among European
indexes after a report suggested the country would get 16
million shots of the potential COVID-19 vaccine developed by
AstraZeneca AZN.L in the first months of 2021 under a supply
deal agreed at a European Union level.
British stocks .FTSE climbed 1.6% after England said it
would introduce a new system allowing the use of testing to
shorten quarantine requirements for incoming passengers.
The news lifted travel and leisure stocks .SXTP , among the
worst hit by the pandemic due to restrictions on travel, by
2.7%.

UPDATE 2-European shares end at near 9-month high on potential easing of virus curbs
 

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