The eurozone equities index finished 1.1 percent higher after jumping as much as 1.6 percent, while the pan-European STOXX 600 closed up 0.2 percent. Under the proposal, the European Commission would borrow the funds from the market and then disburse two-thirds in grants and the rest in loans, with much of the money going to Italy and Spain, the worst affected by the pandemic. Spain’s banking-heavy IBEX jumped 2.4 percent, with Banco Santander SA and BBVA rising 4.9 percent and 3.4 percent respectively.
Euro zone banks .SX7E climbed 4.8 percent, with French lenders BNP Paribas SA and Societe Generale SA leading gains. Italy’s banking index .FTIT8300 rose 2.6 percent.
“The size of the market reaction is relatively modest if you compare it to the plan itself, but that is because there were quite some expectations in the market,” said Elwin de Groot, head of macro strategy at Rabobank.
“We really have to see this is a reaction to the size of the programme being bigger and the European Commission not being deterred from the opposition that is visible in some member states.”
A Franco-German proposal for 500 billion euros in grants last week faced some resistance from more frugal northern nations, which wanted only loans.
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FTSE 100 LIVE: Eurozone stocks rallied on Thursday
10.30pm update: Monsoon Accessorize on brink of collapse
High street chain Monsoon Accessorize is on the brink of collapse with 3,500 jobs at risk.
The company is poised to enter administration within days after being hit by the coronavirus lockdown.
All 220 of the chain’s stores were forced to shut because of the pandemic, with online orders failing to recoup enough income.
9.04pm update: US dollar down vs euro for third straight day
The US dollar fell to a two-month low against the euro on Thursday.
The euro was 0.57 percent higher against the greenback at 1.1066, its third straight session of gains.
The single currency has gained 1.6 percent over the past three sessions.
It comes after Brussels unveiled a plan on Wednesday to support member states facing financial difficulty as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
Monsoon Accessorize is on the brink of collapse
7.30pm update: UK retailers responded to news shops can reopen from June 15
Retailers, such as Next and Burberry, bounced higher as preparations continue to get stores reopened on UK high streets on June 15.
Clothing company Boohoo jumped after the online retailer bought the remaining stake of Pretty Little Thing from its founder and operating chief for £269.8 million.
Umar Kamani, who founded Pretty Little Thing, could see the amount rise by £54 million if the deal can help Boohoo shares hit 491p a share for a six-month period at some point over the next four years.
Shares in Boohoo rose 49.7p to 384.6p.
5.53pm update: FTSE 100 hits a two-month high
The FTSE-100 index hit a two-month high on Thursday, as traders remained optimistic despite the US revealing worse-than-predicted unemployment figures.
Connor Campbell, financial analyst at Spreadex, said: “Even with the Dow Jones losing some of its swagger, the European indices clung fiercely to their optimistic rally on Thursday.
“For the FTSE, it had to overcome the heavy losses incurred by Standard Chartered and HSBC, which fell 4.6 percent and 3.1 percent respectively on the China-Hong Kong developments.
“That didn’t stop the UK from climbing, briefly sauntering past 6225 for the first time since early March.”
5pm update: UK markets close
The FTSE-100 index at the close was up 74.54 at 6218.79.
The FTSE-250 also closed higher, up 194.86 at 17338.48.
3.52pm update: FTSE 100 continues to make gains
The FTSE-100 index at 3:45pm was up 81.68 at 6225.93.
2.50pm update: FTSE 100 update
The FTSE-100 index at 2:45pm was up 67.96 at 6212.21.
Workers respond to the news that Nissan will be closing its Barcelona car plant
2.02pm update: European stocks rise
As well as the FTSE 100 picking up, Frankfurt’s Xetra Dax rose one percent early on Thursday.
The EU-wide Stoxx 600 also rose a percent.
Future markets pointed to gains of 0.3 percent when Wall Street opens.
1.20pm update: American airlines announce staff cuts
American Airline has announced plans to cut 5,000 staff.
The Airline’s executive vice-President, Elise Eberwein said: “We will be a smaller airline, with fewer routes and fewer flights.
“Our preferred outcome is to properly size our frontline team for the future without having to implement involuntary furloughs.
“This is a goal, though, not a commitment, and a stretch goal at that.”
12.23pm update: Nissan to move EU headquarters to Sunderland
Nissan has announced it will move its EU headquarters to Sunderland, while closing its factory in Barcelona.
12.05pm update: Spain and Germany suffer falls in consumer spending
According to official data, retail sales in Spain fell by 31.6 percent compared with the same month last year.
This is the biggest fall on record, while in March there was a 14 percent fall.
Experimental statistics in Germany showed the value of sales dropped 13.8 compared with the previous month.
11.27am update: Taiwan slashes economic growth forecast
Taiwan has slashed its economic growth forecast for 2020.
The Directorate General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics forecast GDP growth to increase by 1.7 percent which would be the slowest rate in five years.
10.37am update: Half of closed UK firm unaware of reopening date
Nearly half of businesses in Britain have temporarily suspended their operations due to the coronavirus are unsure of when they will reopen the Office for National Statistics has stated.
A further 10% were eyeing a reopening in two to four weeks’ time and 31% expected to restart in more than four weeks’ time.
Forty-six percent said they were unsure when they would resume trading.
10.29am update: FTSE 100 0.47 percent down
The FTSE 100 index is currently 28 points down at 6,171 at the time of writing.
8.55am update: Thousands of easyJet to lose their jobs
The airline is set to cut thousands of jobs after it announced plans to cut 30 percent of the workforce.
Chief executive, Johan Lundgren, said: “We realise that these are very difficult times and we are having to consider very difficult decisions which will impact our people, but we want to protect as many jobs as we can for the long term.
“We remain focused on doing what is right for the company and its long-term health and success, following the swift action we have taken over the last three months to meet the challenges of the virus.
“Although we will restart flying on 15 June, we expect demand to build slowly, only returning to 2019 levels in about three years’ time.
“Against this backdrop, we are planning to reduce the size of our fleet and to optimise the network and our bases.”
Impact of coronavirus on fuel prices
8.13am update: FTSE 100 opens on rise
The FTSE 100 has opened this morning 28 points up and is currently trading at 6.171 at the time of writing.
7.06am update: EU leaders expect delay in agreement
Despite the EU putting forward a landmark financial recovery aid package, some have insisted it will take time.
One Dutch diplomat told Politico: “The positions are far apart and this is a unanimity file, so negotiations will take time.
“It’s difficult to imagine this proposal will be the end state of those negotiations.”
Known as the ‘Frugal Four’, Holland, Austria, Sweden and Denmark were sceptical of an overly inflated financial package based on grants and a large budget.
7.03am update: Hong-Kong index drops
The Hang Seng Index has fallen 1.16 percent today after a gradual drop from the beginning of trading.
The index is currently at 23,028.48 points at the time of writing, 270 down.
Additional reporting by Rachel Russell.
6.02am update: American Airlines says to cut management and support staff by 30 percent
American Airlines Group Inc must reduce its management and support staff by about 30 percent and may have to cut frontline employees as it downsizes due to the coronavirus outbreak, showed a letter to employees made public on Wednesday.
All major US airlines have said they will need to shrink in the fall, once US government payroll aid that bans involuntary job cuts expires on Sept. 30.
Competitor United Airlines Holdings Inc has also said it will need to reduce its management and administrative staff by about 30 percent.
Despite the bailout and other liquidity raises, American must “plan for operating a smaller airline for the foreseeable future,” Executive Vice President of People and Global Engagement Elise Eberwein said in the letter.