European markets coronavirus treatment euro zone data

European markets opened higher Thursday as global markets are buoyed by trials of a potentially effective coronavirus treatment.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 climbed 0.6% at the start of trading, autos jumping 2.4% to lead gains while basic resources bucked the upward trend to edge 0.3% lower.

Investors in Europe will be reacting to news from the U.S. Wednesday regarding the use of Gilead Sciences’ antiviral drug remdesivir as a potential new treatment for Covid-19 patients. 

Gilead Sciences said Wednesday preliminary results of a coronavirus drug trial showed at least 50% of patients treated with a five-day dosage of remdesivir improved and more than half were discharged from the hospital within two weeks.

Later Wednesday, White House health advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci said NIAID’s remdesivir drug trial, which enrolled about 800 patients, showed “quite good news” and that the drug would set a new standard of care for Covid-19 patients.

Stocks in Asia rose in Thursday afternoon trade following the developments. Stocks in Japan, which returned to trade following a holiday Wednesday, led gains regionally. 

Markets in Europe will be closely following data releases from the region today, with flash first quarter gross domestic product (GDP) and unemployment data for March, released at 10 a.m. London time.

Also in focus is the latest monetary policy decision from the European Central Bank, due at 12:45 p.m. London time.

Earnings of note came from Shell, Carlsberg, Danske Bank, Nokia, Norwegian Air and Sainsbury’s and Lloyds Banking Group.

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