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Coronavirus treatment hopes boost European stocks at open

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Aug 24 (Reuters) – European stocks bounced from a two-week low on Monday as signs of progress in developing a COVID-19 treatment offset fears about a resurgence in virus cases across the continent that could risk stifling an economic recovery.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index rose 1.3% by 0713 GMT, mirroring gains for Asian markets after the U.S. health regulator said on Sunday it authorized the use of blood plasma from patients who have recovered from COVID-19 as a treatment.

Technology, mining and chemical companies led the surge in early European trading, gaining more than 1.5%.

AstraZeneca Plc was up 2.1% after the Financial Times reported the Trump administration was considering fast-tracking an experimental COVID-19 vaccine being developed by the company.

The gains come after a lacklustre week for European equities, which were pressured by data pointing to a stalling business recovery in the euro zone amid a surge in coronavirus cases.

British telecoms company BT Group jumped 6.1% to the top of STOXX 600 after a media report that its board was preparing to defend it against takeover approaches from rivals and buyout firms. (Reporting by Sruthi Shankar in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D’Silva)

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