Coronavirus: European stocks rise despite civil unrest in US

Edmund Heaphy
Finance and news reporter
Demonstrators kneel in front of police officers during a protest about the death of George Floyd near the White House in Washington. (Evan Vucci/AP)

European stocks rose on Tuesday despite continued civil unrest in the US, as investors weighed signs of a looming economic recovery from the coronavirus crisis.

Slowing infection rates and reasonably upbeat economic data were contrasted with scenes of protest outside the White House, where president Donald Trump gave a speech threatening to use the military to quell violence across the US.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index (^STOXX) rose by around 1.4%. London’s FTSE 100 (^FTSE) climbed by around 0.7%.

Germany’s DAX (^GDAXI) was up by around 3.4% after being closed for a public holiday on Monday, while France’s CAC 40 (^FCHI) was 1.8% in the green.

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“The main focus once again appeared [to be] the longer-term prospects of the easing of lockdowns across the world, though if the violence on US streets continues for much longer US investors might have to cope with a lockdown of a different kind,” said Michael Hewson, the chief market analyst at CMC Markets UK.

“The economic data yesterday continued to point to gradual improvements across the world,” Hewson said, noting that purchasing managers’ index data showed a slowing rate of contraction in the European manufacturing sector.

“Despite the continued improvements in the data, and the ongoing relaxation of the lockdowns, there remains an undercurrent of anxiety that some countries might be moving too fast and risking a second wave of infections,” he said.

READ MORE: UK manufacturing 'mired in its deepest downturn in recent memory'

The positive open in Europe followed gains for stocks in Asia.

China’s SSE Composite Index (^SSEC) rose by 0.2% on Tuesday, while the Hang Seng (^HSI) was up by 0.75% in Hong Kong at market close.

Japan’s Nikkei (^N225) closed more than 1.1% in the green, while the KOSPI Composite Index (^KOSPI) in South Korea was up by around 0.1%. Australia’s ASX 200 (^AXJO) climbed by almost 0.3%.

Futures were pointing to a positive open for US stocks on Tuesday.

S&P 500 futures (ES=F) rose by more than 0.3%, while Dow Jones Industrial Average futures (YM=F) rose by 0.4%. Nasdaq futures (NQ=F), meanwhile, were up by more than 0.5%.