Global stocks have jumped as investors remain optimistic as a slowdown in coronavirus fatalities and new cases in some of the worst affected countries is detected.
London’s FTSE 100 rose 2.5 per cent at the open, while the Frankfurt Dax gained 3.9 per cent and the CAC 40 in Paris was 3.4 per cent higher. The virus has shown signs of peaking in continental Europe, as the daily death toll in Italy, Spain and France has reduced.
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Some governments have also signalled that they will consider easing lockdown measures which has also raised hopes that economic activity could begin to resume in the medium term.
S&P 500 futures tipped the Wall Street benchmark to rise 3.6 per cent when the US opened for trading, while Asian markets recorded strong gains.
US Vice-president Mike Pence said the US was seeing “glimmers of progress” in terms of the outbreak, while New York State reported its first daily drop in new cases since the outbreak began.
US President Donald Trump also expressed hope the country was seeing a “levelling off” of the coronavirus crisis.
Meanwhile, Japan’s benchmark Topix and South Korea’s Kospi both added 3.9 per cent, while Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 gained 4.3 per cent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng was up 2.3 per cent. Markets in mainland China are shut for a public holiday.
At the same time, equities reached higher even as oil prices slipped on doubts that Saudi Arabia and Russia could quickly reach a deal to reduce global crude supplies. Brent crude fell 0.6 per cent to $33.90 per barrel while West Texas Intermediate dropped 3.6 per cent to $27.33 a barrel.
In currencies, the British pound traded flat at $1.2265, having slipped in Asian trading after UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson was admitted to hospital over the weekend for precautionary tests, as his coronavirus symptoms had continued 10 days after testing positive for the virus.
The dollar gained 0.4 per cent against the yen to 108.93 and the euro was barely moved at $1.0819 while the Australian dollar was up 0.6 per cent at $0.6037.