European markets closed higher on Thursday as investors digested the latest unemployment data in the United States and a $ 2.3 trillion stimulus package from the Federal Reserve.
The pan-European Stoxx 600 closed 1.4% higher provisionally, as travel and leisure stocks jumped more than 4% to lead to gains, with all sectors trading in positive territory. Unchanged on Friday, due to the Easter holidays, the benchmark ended up over 7% for the week.
Unemployment claims in the United States continued to increase due to the closure of the coronavirus, with 6.6 million Americans filing their first jobless claims during the week ended April 4, reported on Thursday Department of Labor.
Economists expected an increase of 5 million after the two record high readings of 6.6 million and 3.3 million. Economists predict that the unemployment rate will climb among adolescents this month, compared to 4.4% in March and 3.5% in February.
But disappointing unemployment data has been dampened by news that the Fed will implement further stimulus packages worth up to $ 2.3 trillion. Stocks on Wall Street reacted positively and the Dow Jones Industrial Average appeared to be on track for its best weekly gain since 1938.
Back in Europe, the Bank of England has agreed to temporarily finance UK government borrowing if funds cannot be immediately raised in the debt markets, a measure last seen significantly during the financial crisis .
At the same time, Swiss banks UBS and Credit Suisse have announced that they will postpone the payment of part of their 2019 dividend to shareholders until the end of the year, due to the increasing pressure exerted by regulators on the sector. European banking.
The biggest movers
The cinema chain Cineworld won more than 27% to direct the Stoxx 600, while the British giant of commercial outsourcing Capita increased by 20%.
British automaker Redrow has jumped nearly 10% after getting approval for the Bank of England’s coronavirus emergency funding program on Thursday.
At the other end of the leading European index, the engineering firm Subsea 7 finished down 5%, while the Swiss logistics group Galenica fell more than 6%.