Investors monitor US coronavirus cases, hopes for recovery

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European markets advanced on Friday morning despite the spike in coronavirus cases in the United States and other warnings about a second merger of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) market.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 climbed 0.6% at the start of trading, technology stocks adding 1.2% to lead to gains, all sectors and the main exchanges having entered positive territory.The global market rebound could be put to the test by a long-feared escalation of coronavirus infections in the United States, with Texas halting the reopening of its economy after another record daily increase in new cases and hospitalizations.

As of Friday morning, the United States had more than 2.4 million confirmed cases and more than 124,000 deaths, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. However, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said on Thursday that the actual number of infections could be 10 times the official number.

Localized restrictions have also been reimposed in parts of the Portuguese capital Lisbon, western Germany, Beijing and the state of Victoria in Australia.

The IMF warned on Thursday that stocks could undergo a second merger in the event of a new global outbreak of infections, the reintroduction of foreclosure measures or an escalation in trade tensions.

It was a great week for business news in Europe. Wirecard filed for bankruptcy Thursday, unable to account for a $ 2.1 billion black hole in its balance sheet and owing $ 4 billion to its creditors. Shares in the German payment company fell another 40% at the start of Friday’s session to trade at just 2.1 euros per share ($ 2.35 per share).

Lufthansa shareholders on Thursday backed a $ 10 billion German government bailout to save the besieged carrier after lead shareholder Heinz Hermann Thiele dropped opposition to the plan.

Meanwhile, Reuters announced Thursday evening that the Dutch government has entered into a € 3.4 billion bailout deal with France for Air France-KLM, as airlines continue to free themselves from months of restrictions from travel the world.

AMS was the biggest winner on Friday, up 6% after Austrian chipmaker denied allegations of insider trading reported by the German newspaper Handelsblatt.

Spanish retail sales figures and French and Italian consumer confidence measures are expected on Friday morning.

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