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European stocks rose on Friday after Chinese authorities pledged to shield the world’s second-largest economy from coronavirus shutdowns, boosting sentiment after disappointing updates from Apple and Amazon.

The regional Stoxx 600 stock index added 0.8% in early trades, while London’s FTSE 100 rose 0.4% and Germany’s Xetra Dax 0.8%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index climbed 3.2% and Japan’s Nikkei 225 stock gauge rose 1.8%.

The gains came after a statement from China’s Politburo, the Communist Party’s decision-making body, vowing to “strengthen macro adjustments” and “achieve full-year economic and social development goals.”

Meanwhile, as the quarterly earnings season approaches halfway through in Europe, nearly 75% of companies have exceeded earnings expectations, according to Barclays.

The Stoxx is on track this month to beat the performance of US indices, which have been dragged down by expectations of an interest rate hike by the Federal Reserve.

Frankfurt-listed shares of Amazon and Apple fell 8% and 1.8% on Friday.

Apple warned after the U.S. markets closed on Thursday that it could suffer up to $8 billion in the quarter through June due to supply chain shortages and factory closures in China. Amazon reported its weakest quarterly revenue growth.

Futures trading implied that the benchmark S&P 500 stock index would open down 0.5% in New York, as it headed for a loss of more than 5% for the month. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite is poised to fall more than 9% in April, in what would be its worst monthly performance since March 2020.

The dollar index fell 0.4% after the gauge, which measures the currency against six major peers, hit a 20-year high on Thursday.

The yield on the 10-year U.S. Treasury note, a benchmark for the cost of debt around the world, edged down 0.02 percentage points on Friday but remained around its highest since late 2018.

Brent crude, the international oil benchmark, added 0.8% to $108.45 a barrel and U.S. marker West Texas Intermediate rose 0.5% to $105.86.


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William D. Babcock

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