UPDATE 2-UK shares surge as slowing COVID-19 deaths calm mood


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    * Novacyt gains on French approval for COVID-19 test
    * Legal & General to pay 2019 dividend, shares surge
    * Rolls Royce jumps on securing debt facility 
    * FTSE 100 up 3.1%, FTSE 250 adds 5.1%

 (Updates with closing price)
    By Devik Jain and Sruthi Shankar
    April 6 (Reuters) - UK shares surged on Monday, led by
battered travel stocks, insurers and housebuilders, as investors
welcomed signs of slowing increases in coronavirus-related
deaths in the worst-affected parts of western Europe.
    The internationally focused FTSE 100  .FTSE  closed up 3.1%,
still underperforming its European peers as exporters were
pressured by a recovering pound.  GBP/ 
    The currency rebounded from an overnight dip on expectations
that British Prime Minister Boris Johnson could shortly be back
at work after being admitted to hospital on Sunday night with
persistent coronavirus symptoms.  urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL9N2BB028
    Volatility gauges dipped and stock markets soared across the
world after last week's modest selloff as new infections and
deaths slowed in Italy and Spain, while hard-hit New York
reported on Sunday that deaths had fallen slightly from the day
before.  urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL8N2BT0R6  urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL8N2BT09M  urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL1N2BT03Z
    "We're seeing slowing cases in certain sections of Europe
and that's bringing a rush of buying into the market," said
Keith Temperton, a sales trader at brokerage Tavira Securities. 
    "However, longer-term impacts of what's happening and what
happened are going to put pressure on the markets."
    Despite policymakers injecting trillions of dollars into the
global economy, the FTSE 100 was down about 27% from its January
peak as economic data in the recent weeks suggests a sharp
economic slump might be under way.
    A survey on Monday showed British consumer confidence
recorded its biggest fall in more than 45 years, while new car
sales dropped faster than during the 2008-09 financial
crisis. urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL8N2BU22L
    However, the less pessimistic mood on Monday drove investors
to buy some of the worst-hit sectors such as travel and leisure
 .FTNMX5750 , which has nearly halved in value so far this year
as country-wide lockdowns hamper demand.
    Cruise operator Carnival Plc  CCL.L , IAG-owned British
Airways  ICAG.L  and easyJet  EZJ.L  jumped between 14% and 16%.
    Aero-engine maker Rolls-Royce  RR.L  surged 18% after it
secured an additional revolving credit facility, but said it was
scrapping its targets and final dividend.  urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL8N2BU10G
    Insurer Legal & General Group  LGEN.L  soared 16.7%,
recovering sharply from last week's losses after it said it
would pay a 2019 dividend even after a European Union regulator
said insurers and reinsurers should temporarily halt payouts.
    Peers Prudential  PRU.L  and Aviva  AV.L  rose 11% and 5.3%,
    Housebuilders such as Persimmon  PSN.L , Taylor Wimpey
 TW.L  and Barratt Development  BDEV.L , which have suffered in
the recent weeks on fading domestic growth perospects, jumped
between 12% and 16%.
    The domestically focused midcaps  .FTMC  surged 5.1%, with
Ladbrokes-owner GVC  GVC.L  jumping 19% as it halved its
estimate for a monthly hit to profits from the
coronavirus-driven shutdown in international sports.
    Healthcare company Novacyt  NCYT.L  rose 14% after its
COVID-19 diagnostic test won French approval, making it
available for immediate distribution in France.  urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL8N2BU152
    However, Daily Mirror-owner Reach Plc  RCH.L  dropped 9.9%
after it suspended its dividend and said it would furlough
staff, cut wages and management pay to weather the health
crisis.  urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL1N2BU06L

 (Reporting by Devik Jain and Sruthi Shankar in Bengaluru;
Editing by Arun Koyyur and Keith Weir)
 ((Devik.Jain@thomsonreuters.com; within U.S. +1 646 223 8780;
outside U.S. +91 80 6182 2062; ;))
For related prices, Reuters users may click on - * 
 UK stock report      .L     
 FTSE index:          0#.FTS6  
 techMARK 100 index:  .FTT1X          FTSE futures:      0#FFI:  
 Gilt futures:        0#FLG:          Smallcap index:     .FTSC  
 FTSE 250 index:      .FTMC           FTSE 350 index:     .FTLC  
 Market digest:       .AD.L           Top 10 by vol:      .AV.L  
 Top price gainers:   .NG.L           Top % gainers:      .PG.L  
 Top price losers:    .NL.L           Top % losers:       .PL.L  
 * For related news, click on - *
 UK hot stocks:       HOT  and  GB      Wall Street:           .N 
 Gilts report:        GB/             Euro bond report  GVD/EUR 
 Pan European stock report:  .EU 
 Tokyo stocks:        .T              HK stocks:            .HK 
 Sterling report:     GBP/            Dollar report:       USD/ 
 * For company prices, click on - *
 Company directory:   UKEQ           By sector:           FTAX  
 * For pan-European market data, click on - *
 European Equities speed guide................  EUR/EQUITY  
 FTSE Eurotop 300 index...........................  .FTEU3  
 DJ STOXX index...................................  .STOXX  
 Top 10 STOXX sectors........................  .PGL.STOXXS  
 Top 10 EUROSTOXX sectors...................  .PGL.STOXXES  
 Top 10 Eurotop 300 sectors..................  .PGL.FTEU3S  
 Top 25 European pct gainers....................  .PG.PEUR  
 Top 25 European pct losers.....................  .PL.PEUR ))

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