European stocks turned choppy again yesterday with bourses across the region wiping off most of their early morning gains as a sharp rise in the coronavirus death toll brought back panic.
World markets enjoyed their best one-day percentage gain since the 2008 financial crisis on Tuesday, adding roughly $3.4 trillion (€3.13 trillion), as the US readied to approve a massive stimulus package to curb the pandemic's economic toll.
Irish shares outperformed the European market generally, led by a huge 21pc swing higher for hotel chain Dalata and strong support for Irish banks with Bank of Ireland up 7.94pc and AIB up 7.82pc versus the previous close.
However, fears returned to the markets after Spain reported 738 fatalities from the coronavirus in the past 24 hours, the steepest increase since the epidemic hit the country. The pan-European Stoxx 600 index was up just 0.5pc, retreating from a more than 4pc jump in the morning.
Cyclical sectors such as energy and travel and leisure were still the biggest boosts to the index.
European airlines, one of the worst hit sectors from travel restrictions and evaporating passenger numbers over fears of contagion, have appealed to governments for bailout packages to prevent an industry collapse.
Air France-KLM, Aer Lingus owner IAG , Ryanair and EasyJet gained between 1pc and 8pc amid the broader rebound.
A London-based trader said the change in sentiment during the day was in part due to a sharp rise in the European death toll from the coronavirus and also reflected that investors were nervous ahead of US Senate's vote on the $2 trillion coronavirus stimulus package.
European stocks surged in recent days on stimulus measures but are far from covering their steep 25pc-plus losses from a February peak as analysts continue to take a red pen to their estimates.
With the pandemic still far from contained in Europe, companies have warned of lower profits, layoffs and a halt in business activity amid widespread national lockdowns.
UBS said it expects a deep recession which will see Europe's earnings fall by a third in 2020.
Additional reporting Reuters