By Sruthi Shankar

(.) – European stocks rose for the fourth session in a row on Thursday as optimism about the return of business to its operations and stimuli for the battered euro zone economy offset fears stemming from mounting tensions between states. United and China.

* The pan-European STOXX 600 Index gained 1.6% to an 11-week high, with health care stocks rebounding from losses this week.

* GlaxoSmithKline, the world’s largest vaccine maker, advanced 2.1% after establishing plans to produce 1 billion doses of efficacy enhancers for COVID-19 injections next year.

* Other defensive sectors such as personal and household goods, telecommunications and basic services also rose.

* British movie theater operator Cineworld climbed 21.4% – the biggest rise in the STOXX 600 – after claiming that it expects to reopen its stores in July and that it had secured additional liquidity.

* The STOXX 600 has advanced more than 32% from its March lows, as investors expect a gradual recovery with the injection of trillions of dollars into the global economy by governments and central banks, and because pharmaceutical companies compete for developing a vaccine against COVID-19.

* Confidence was strengthened this week by a 750 billion euro (about $ 826.35 billion) plan by the European Union to boost the bloc economies hit by the coronavirus.

* In addition, expectations have risen that the European Central Bank will expand its bond purchase program next week, possibly by € 500 billion.

(Report by Sruthi Shankar in Bengaluru, Additional report by Aaron Saldanha and Lisa Mattackal, Edited in Spanish by Manuel Farías)