Markets

European markets close sharply higher as gradual reopening continues; Airbus and Lufthansa shares rally

Key Points
  • The French CAC 40 finished up by around 1.9%, while Germany's DAX index gained 2.6%.
  • U.S. and U.K. markets were closed Monday for Memorial Day and the U.K. spring bank holiday, respectively.  

European equities rallied Monday as countries gradually continue to reopen their economies and lift coronavirus lockdown restrictions.

The French CAC 40 finished up by around 1.9%, while Germany's DAX index gained 2.6%. U.S. and U.K. markets were closed Monday for Memorial Day and the U.K. spring bank holiday, respectively.  

France's biggest movers were commercial real estate company Unibail Rodam Westfield, up more than 7%; hospitality group Accor, up 6%; and French aerospace giant Airbus, up 8%. 

Germany's rally was led by aircraft engine manufacturer MTU Aero Engines, up 7% and carrier Lufthansa, up around 6% on the news that it's approaching a deal for a 9 billion euro bailout from the German government.

German pharmaceutical giant Bayer also led the index's rise Monday, trading more than 8% higher. Bayer's stock price was boosted by reports that it had reached agreements over a raft of U.S. lawsuits involving its Roundup weedkiller. 

VIDEO3:1903:19
Europe taking a better approach to pandemic than US, Nobel laureate says

France and Germany's gradual reopenings are milestones in what is hoped will be the start of the countries' economic recoveries. On Sunday, churches in France held their first mass in two months as the government allowed houses of worship around the country to reopen.

Some lockdown restrictions in France were lifted beginning May 11 as part of a phased reopening; phase 2, which will allow cafes and bars in the country's lower risk "green zones" to reopen, is slated for June 2. 

The number of new cases in Germany rose slightly over the weekend. Germany's reopening began in the first week of May, with all shops allowed to reopen as coronavirus cases stabilized. Each of the country's 16 federal states are in charge of their own reopening.