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European stocks rebound from rout

The Dutch are preparing for a possible back up of lorries heading for Britain
The Dutch are preparing for a possible back up of lorries heading for Britain Marco de Swart ANP/AFP/File
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London (AFP)

European stock markets rebounded slightly Tuesday from the previous session's sharp falls triggered by escalating virus fears.

Asian stock markets retreated however, with investors catching up with Monday's slide across Europe, and the Dow Jones index also slipped as trading got underway in New York.

The dollar rose however after US lawmakers, as expected, agreed on a massive financial stimulus package.

The pound and oil prices, which slumped Monday on UK virus and Brexit fears, retreated once more but their losses were less pronounced.

"Fears in relation to the new strain of the coronavirus have faded a little and so have some of the concerns that the UK could suffer a prolonged period of isolation," noted David Madden, analyst at CMC Markets UK.

Britain's government is considering tests for truckers as part of talks with French authorities to allow the resumption of freight traffic.

France has suspended arrivals from the United Kingdom over the new strain -- said to be 70 percent more transmissible -- that has resulted in a third lockdown for London and much of southeast England.

The move came as Britain and the European Union tried to thrash out a last-gasp post-Brexit trade deal.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and EU chief Ursula von der Leyen are pressing to break a logjam over fishing rights with just nine days to go before Britain leaves the EU single market and customs union.

Lawmakers in Washington have meanwhile finally passed a bill setting aside around $900 billion in support measures for the ailing US economy, bringing an end to months of haggling.

The package will now go to the White House for President Donald Trump to sign this week.

But analysts said the move had been priced into markets.

"The new... bill will help some workers and businesses get through the winter but it will do little to accelerate the arrival of an economic recovery," said David Kelly, at JP Morgan Asset Management.

- Key figures around 1430 GMT -

London - FTSE 100: UP 0.4 percent at 6,438.63 points

Frankfurt - DAX 30: UP 1.1 percent at 13,388.29

Paris - CAC 40: UP 1.1 percent at 5,450.36

EURO STOXX 50: UP 1.1 percent at 3,486.22

New York - Dow: DOWN 0.3 percent at 30,131.82

Tokyo - Nikkei 225: DOWN 1.0 percent at 26,436.39 (close)

Hong Kong - Hang Seng: DOWN 0.7 percent at 26,119.25 (close)

Shanghai - Composite: DOWN 1.9 percent at 3,356.78 (close)

Pound/dollar: DOWN at $1.3386 from $1.3436 at 2145 GMT

Euro/pound: UP at 91.33 pence from 91.00 pence

Euro/dollar: DOWN at $1.2225 from $1.2229

Dollar/yen: UP at 103.50 yen from 103.32 yen

West Texas Intermediate: DOWN 1.5 percent at $47.23 per barrel

Brent North Sea crude: DOWN 1.3 percent at $50.26 per barrel

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