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European shares rally on improving data, insurers jump

By Sruthi Shankar

(Reuters) – European shares rallied on Wednesday, with insurers jumping after France’s AXA said it would pay a dividend, while improving global data spurred bets of faster economic recovery from the coronavirus crisis.

The pan-European STOXX 600 <.STOXX> rose 2.5% to close at its highest since March 6, with Germany’s DAX <.GDAXI> outpacing the rest of Europe with a 3.9% gain.

The German index recorded its strongest close since Feb 27, and is just 9.5% below its all-time high.

European markets have performed strongly so far this week as several countries eased strict lockdown measures, while hopes of more stimulus and encouraging developments on a potential COVID-19 treatment have helped the STOXX 6000 recover more than 37% from March lows.

“When (the slump) happened, there was not a fundamental issue in the economy. It was all down to a single event and there’s no reason why we

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