Europe Markets

European markets close higher on coronavirus vaccine hopes; Neles spikes 38%

Key Points
  • The pan-European Stoxx 600 closed up by 1%, with basic resources adding 2% to lead gains.
  • The World Health Organization reported a record daily rise in global coronavirus cases Sunday.
  • Two of Pfizer and BioNTech's experimental coronavirus vaccines have been granted "fast track" designation in the U.S.

European stocks closed higher Monday as optimism over a potential coronavirus vaccine outweighed concerns over surging coronavirus cases around the world.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 provisionally closed up by 1%, with basic resources adding 2% to lead gains as all sectors and major bourses entered positive territory.

European markets were tracking their global counterparts higher despite the surge in coronavirus cases in the U.S. and beyond; Florida reported 15,299 new coronavirus cases on Sunday, the highest single day total for any American state since the pandemic began.

The U.S. has reported more than 60,000 new cases daily for three days in a row now, bringing the national total to more than 3 million cases, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. The World Health Organization reported a record daily rise in global coronavirus cases Sunday, according to Reuters.

On Wall Street, stocks got a boost as German biotech company BioNTech and U.S. pharmaceutical giant Pfizer announced that two of their experimental vaccines for the coronavirus had been granted the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's "fast track" designation.

Meanwhile, earnings season is set to kick off this week, with big banks and others reporting their quarterly results. JPMorgan, Citigroup and Wells Fargo are scheduled to report on Tuesday. Pepsi reported better-than-expected earnings Monday, though net sales dropped around 3% due to the impact of Covid-19.

Biggest movers

Finnish valves maker Neles saw its shares surge almost 38% after Swedish industrial group Alfa Laval announced a 1.73 billion euro ($1.96 billion) cash bid for the company.

G4S jumped over 9% after the British security firm said its first-half earnings report will be "significantly" better than consensus expectations. Norwegian bank DNB also gained almost 10% after reporting better-than-expected earnings.

At the other end of the European blue chip index, Atlantia shares fell 13.6% after Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte labelled the infrastructure group's proposals for a key motorway project "unsatisfactory."

Ubisoft fell 5.4% following the resignation of its chief creative officer over the weekend. It comes after an internal probe into allegations of misconduct at the French video game developer. 

— CNBC's Yun Li and Eustance Huang contributed to this report.