European shares bounced from two-week lows on Friday but were still set for weekly losses after a sell-off that was marked by fears of a second wave of COVID-19 infections, Brexit-related uncertainty and doubts about more US fiscal stimulus.
The pan-European STOXX 600 index .STOXX was up 0.7 per cent after posting its worst session in more than three weeks on Thursday.
Banks .SX7P, insurers .SXIP and energy .SXEP stocks, which bore the brunt of the losses this week, were up between 0.3 per cent and 1.0 per cent, reports Reuters.
A resurgence in coronavirus cases across Europe has stoked fears about more sweeping lockdowns, with London and Paris - Europe’s two richest cities - again living under the shadow of state-imposed restrictions.
Focus on Friday will be on signs of progress in Brexit negotiations, with Prime Minister Boris Johnson set to give Britain’s response to the European Union’s demand that he either gives more concessions to secure a trade deal or braces for a disorderly Brexit in three months.
London stocks .FTSE.FTMC rose about 1.0 per cent in early trading, but were still on course to snap a two-week gaining streak.
Shares of Thyssenkrupp TKAG.DE surged 24.2 per cent as a report said privately-held Liberty Steel Group is set to bid for the ailing steel unit of the company as soon as Friday.