European Stocks Close Higher After Volatile Session

(RTTNews) - European stocks ended higher on Thursday after a highly volatile session, with investors reacting to news about coronavirus cases, record jobless claims in the U.S., and a whopping rise in crude oil prices amid reports suggesting a likely end to the price war in the oil market.

The pan European Stoxx 600 ended up 0.42%. Among the major indices in Europe, the U.K.'s FTSE 100 advanced 0.47%, Germany's DAX moved up 0.27% and France's CAC 40 gained 0.33%, while Switzerland's SMI climbed up 1.11%.

Among other markets in Europe, Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Finland, Greece, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, Russia and Turkey finished with sharp to moderate gains.

Denmark, Iceland, Ireland and Norway declined, while Portugal, Spain and Sweden ended flat.

Energy stocks were among the most impressive gainers after oil prices rose sharply on reports the price war between Russia and Saudi Arabia will end sometime soon.

Among the notable gainers in France were Peugeot, Bouygues, Publicis Groupe, Total, Essilor Luxottica, Safran and L'Oreal. These stocks gained between 2 and 4%.

Dassault Systemes Group, Capgemini, Accor, Airbus Group, Vinci, STMicroElectronics and Credit Agricole declined sharply.

In Germany, Siemens, Henkel, Deutsche Post, Infineon, Wirecard, Bayer, Vonovia and Deutsche TeleKom gained 1 to 3.5%.

MTU Aero declined nearly 6%. Fresenius, Deutsche Bank, E.ON and Daimler also ended weak.

In the U.K. market, Royal Dutch Shell soared nearly 10%. M&G Plc gained about 9%, while Glencore and BP ended stronger by 6.5% and 5.9%, respectively.

Premeier Oil zoomed nearly 18%. Cairn Energy gained about 15%, while Tullow Oil, Petrofac and Energean Oil climbed up 12.7%, 11.7% and 10.7%, respectively. Shares of John Wood Group gained more than 15%.

After spending the most part of the session in positive territory, shares of International Consolidated Airlines Group retreated in late afternoon trade and ended 1.1% down. According to the BBC, British Airways will furlough up to 36,000 staff, due to the escalating coronavirus or Covid-19 crisis.

In economic news, UK house prices increased at the fastest pace since January 2018, data from the Nationwide Building Society showed. According to the data, house prices grew 3% year-on-year in March, following February's 2.3% increase.

On a monthly basis, house price growth increased to 0.8% from 0.3%. In the first quarter, house prices gained 1.3% sequentially, taking the annual growth to 2.5%.

Switzerland's consumer prices declined for the second month in a row in March, falling 0.5% year-on-year, following a 0.1% fall in February, the Federal Statistical Office report showed. On a monthly basis, consumer prices rose 0.1% in March, same as seen in February.

The core CPI fell 0.1% annually in March and rose 0.3% from the previous month.

Eurozone producer prices declined at a faster pace in February, data from Eurostat showed. The producer price index decreased 1.3% year-on-year in February, following a 0.7% decline in January. Economists had expected a 0.8% fall.

Meanwhile, data released by the U.S. Labor Department said initial jobless claims skyrocketed to 6.648 million in the world's largest economy, an increase of 3.341 million from the previous week's revised level of 3.307 million.

With another record-breaking increase, the number of seasonally adjusted initial claims reached the highest level in the history of the seasonally adjusted series.

In the past two weeks, nearly 10 million people have filed for unemployment, which economists say translates to an unemployment rate of about 10%.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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