March 13, 2020 / 8:23 AM / a month ago

European stock markets rebound after pandemic-driven crash

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March 13 (Reuters) - European stock markets bounced back on Friday from their worst day ever, as signs of a U.S. stimulus package helped soothe fears about an economic shock from the coronavirus pandemic.

The benchmark STOXX 600 index was up 4% at 0805 GMT, following a 12% plunge on Thursday on rising fears of a liquidity crunch after the European Central Bank decided to keep interest rates steady.

The crash erased over $1 trillion from the value of European firms and plunged the MSCI world index firmly into a bear market, but sentiment stabilised on Friday after indications that U.S. Democrats and Republicans could soon agree on a stimulus package.

Swiss diagnostics maker Roche jumped 4.7% after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued emergency authorisation for a faster coronavirus test made by the company.

German payments company Wirecard soared 17.3% to the top of the STOXX 600 after saying a KPMG audit found no manipulation in Wirecard's financial statements. (Reporting by Sagarika Jaisinghani in Bengaluru)

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