Europe Markets

European markets close higher as investors look to virus lockdown exit strategies

Key Points
  • European countries including Italy and Spain are now looking to lift some restrictions on public life as the number of new infections and daily deaths has declined.

European markets closed higher Tuesday as investors looked for an exit strategy to the region's coronavirus lockdowns.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 closed around 0.6% higher provisionally, with most sectors and major bourses in positive territory.

European countries, among those Italy and Spain that have been some of the worst affected by the coronavirus, are now looking to lift some restrictions on public life as the number of new infections and daily deaths has declined.

Spain allowed some construction and manufacturing sites and to reopen Monday and Italy is also allowing some businesses to reopen Tuesday. Meanwhile, Germany is considering how to implement a gradual recovery from the coronavirus pandemic, the country's health minister told CNBC on Monday

"We are thinking about step by step, that is important ... going back to a new normal," Jens Spahn said on "Closing Bell."

Meanwhile, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Tuesday cautioned that the world economy would likely suffer the worst financial crisis since the 1930s Great Depression

On Wall Street, stocks surged with the Dow Jones Industrial Average up by more than 400 points. Other than coronavirus, investors were also monitoring corporate earnings.

Economic data was also in focus, with China reporting that its dollar-denominated exports and imports both fell from a year ago in March. The numbers were better than what economists had expected.

In terms of individual stocks, German lighting company Osram was the biggest gainer, climbing 12%, while Ses also surged nearly 9%.

At the bottom of the European benchmark, British cinema operator Cineworld tumbled by more than 18%.