Employees of the Lantz funeral company, wearing protections, pull the coffin of a victim of COVID-19 from a home for the elderly in Mulhouse, France [Sebastian Bozon/AFP]

European shares rebounded on Monday as a slowdown in coronavirus deaths in France and Italy raised hopes that sweeping lockdowns were starting to show results.

The benchmark STOXX 600 index was up 2.9 percent at 07:07 GMT, after ending Friday with its sixth weekly decline in seven as the health crisis stalled business activity.

Italian and French bourses jumped 3.5 percent and 3.4 percent, respectively, as data showed Italy reported its lowest daily death toll for more than two weeks on Sunday, while France’s death toll dropped and admissions into intensive care slowed.

The STOXX 600 index has lost more than $3 trillion in market value since February as the slump in economic activity brought many sectors to the verge of collapse, forcing companies to suspend dividends and share buyback to shore up cash.

SOURCE: AGENCIES

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