Europe Markets

European markets close higher as investors monitor coronavirus developments

Key Points
  • The Stoxx Europe 600 index closed up by 1.6% with most sectors and major bourses in positive territory.
  • The Trump administration is reportedly considering fast tracking an experimental coronavirus vaccine developed in the U.K.

European stocks closed higher on Monday as investors weighed the latest financial, geopolitical and coronavirus news worldwide.

The Stoxx Europe 600 index ended up by 1.6% on Monday with almost all sectors and major bourses in positive territory.

European stocks are following the trend set by their counterparts in Asia Pacific, where stocks were higher in Monday trade as investors continued to watch developments in the coronavirus pandemic.

U.S. President Donald Trump's administration is considering fast tracking an experimental coronavirus vaccine developed in the U.K. for use stateside ahead of the nation's upcoming presidential election, according to a Financial Times report.

AstraZeneca, which is the company helping develop the potential vaccine, saw its shares rise 2%.

In other U.S. political news, Kellyanne Conway, senior advisor to President Donald Trump, has said she will leave the White House by the end of the month. An administration official told NBC News that Conway told Trump about her decision Sunday evening in the Oval Office. The official said the president expressed support for her decision.

Stocks rose stateside, building on a record-setting week. Last week, a rally in major technology shares pushed the S&P 500 to levels above its previous record set before the pandemic. The broad equity benchmark posted its fourth straight positive week and closed at a fresh record on Friday.

Back in Europe, BT was among the top performers, closing 7% higher on Monday. It comes shortly after Sky News reported the company was preparing to defend itself against takeover approaches from industry rivals and buyout firms.

— CNBC.com staff contributed to this market report.