London stocks rise on signs COVID-19 crisis may be easing in parts of Europe


Britain’s shares gained on Tuesday, boosted again by a surge in travel stocks as investors were heartened by signs the COVID-19 crisis could be easing in the worst-hit regions of Europe.

The blue-chip FTSE 100 index .FTSE rose 3.3% by 0822 GMT, extending gains for the second day as the outbreak showed signs of levelling off in New York, while hardest-hit Italy and Spain have started looking ahead to easing lockdowns after steady declines in their fatality rates.

Still, doubts lingered as UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson fought worsening coronavirus symptoms in an intensive care unit on Tuesday, leaving his foreign minister Dominic Raab to deputize.

Oil majors BP (BP.L) and Royal Dutch Shell .RDSa.L gained about 4% on hopes that major oil producers including Saudi Arabia and Russia will agree to cut production soon. [O/R]

Carnival Corp (CCL.L) surged 26% as battered travel stocks extended their rebound, with Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund and the Public Investment Fund (PIF), disclosing an 8.2% stake in the coronavirus-hit cruise operator on Monday.

The improving risk appetite globally helped the FTSE 100 recover 17.4% from its March trough, while midcap shares .FTMC gained nearly 24% from their lows.