By Medha Singh
(Reuters) – Bank stocks propped up European shares on Wednesday after a flurry of strong results including from Spain’s Santander and Britain’s Virgin Money, even as investors weighed the potential economic impact of the fast-spreading coronavirus.
The pan-European STOXX 600 <.STOXX> rose 0.6%, clawing back most of its losses from a selloff on Monday.
Spain’s IBEX <.IBEX> outperformed regional bourses, lifted by a 3.6% rise in Santander
Additionally, Virgin Money UK
The banks index <.SX7P> climbed nearly 1%, providing the biggest boost to the benchmark index.
“We have a huge number of earnings reports and the numbers look pretty solid at the start of the earnings season,” said Neil Campling, Mirabaud’s head of TMT Research.
“But there is obviously caution as further news comes out of China regarding the coronavirus,” he added.
The STOXX 600 shed nearly 3% on Monday as investors worried about the economic impact of the flu-like virus, which has now claimed 132 lived and infected more than 5,327 people in China.
Investor attention now turns to central bank meetings from around the world. The U.S. Federal Reserve is almost certain to keep interest rates on hold at the end of a two-day policy meeting on Wednesday, while expectations of a rate cut by the Bank of England on Thursday stand at 50%.
Friday will mark the UK’s official departure from the European Union.
Overnight, the British government said it will introduce a bill in parliament on Wednesday for legislation to end automatic rights for European Union vessels to fish in UK waters.
Shares of Apple Inc
In the telecom space, Norway’s Telenor
(Reporting by Medha Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Bernard Orr)