European shares jumped for a second straight session on Friday, as a wave of fiscal and monetary stimulus tempted investors back into equity markets after days of selling on signs the world was heading into a deep, coronavirus-driven recession.
The pan-European STOXX 600 index was up 4.9 percent at 08:14 GMT and on course to erase the entire week’s declines.
Travel and leisure stocks jumped 7.6 percent in a surprise move, leading gains among the major European subsectors, while energy firms added 7.3 percent on the back of a recovery in oil prices.
Bank stocks jumped 4.2 percent from their lowest levels in three decades after the UK’s central bank joined its European peers in suspending stress tests for 2020.
Still, the STOXX 600 was on track for its worst month since October 1987 as the rapidly spreading coronavirus forced several nations in the bloc to impose a lockdown.
Italian shares lagged other major stock markets as the death toll from COVID-19 in the country overtook that of China, where the disease first emerged late last year.