London’s blue-chip FTSE 100 index rose 3.3 percent by 8.22am, extending gains for the second day boosted again by a surge in travel stocks as investors were heartened by signs the COVID-19 crisis could be easing in the worst-hit regions of Europe. Still, doubts lingered as after it emerged last night that Prime Minister Boris Johnson has moved to intensive care as his coronavirus conditions worsened, amid reports he was struggling to breathe.
It comes off the back of a storming rally for Wall Street, with the Dow Jones surging 1,627 points or 7.7 percent to just under 22,678 following a brutal month in March.
Despite a growing death toll in the US, which is due to worsen over the following weeks, the S&P 500 index rose 7 percent and the more Composite rallied at 7.3 percent.
And China stocks rose by about 2 percent on Tuesday as markets resumed trading after a long weekend, with investor sentiment lifted by Beijing’s latest stimulus to shore up the world’s second-largest economy and a drop in the new coronavirus cases.
The Shanghai Composite index climbed 1.74 percent to 2,812.14 by the midday break.
It comes after Chinese markets were closed on Monday for the Qingming Festival holiday.
The blue-chip CSI300 index was up 1.97 percent, with its financial sector sub-index higher by 1.3 percent, the consumer staples sector up 2.71 percent, the real estate index gaining 0.83 percent and the healthcare sub-index up 2.13 percent.
Meanwhile, oil majors BP and Royal Dutch Shell gained about 4 percent on hopes that major oil producers including Saudi Arabia and Russia will agree to cut production soon.
Carnival Corp surged 26% as battered travel stocks extended their rebound, with Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund and the Public Investment Fund (PIF), disclosing an 8.2% stake in the coronavirus-hit cruise operator on Monday.
The improving risk appetite globally helped the FTSE 100 recover 17.4 percent from its March trough, while midcap shares gained nearly 24% from their lows.
Stock markets globally were on steadier grounds amid a slowdown in coronavirus deaths across Europe, including Spain, Italy and France, raised hopes that sweeping lockdown measures were starting to show results.
FOLLOW EXPRESS.CO.UK BELOW FOR LIVE UPDATES
8.04am update: Australian dollar rises
The Australian dollar hit $0.6148, its highest in a week.
Sean Callow, an FX analyst at Westpac in Sydney, said:”It’s a long way short of a serious rally.
“There is still so much bad news to absorb from the economy.”
The New Zealand dollar rose 1.6 percent to $0.5988, while the safe-haven yen lost 0.17 percent, to 108.80 per US dollar.
8am update: Oil prices rise
Oil prices have risen on hopes the world’s biggest producers will agree to cut output as the virus pandemic crushes demand, while the risk-sensitive Australian dollar rose 1 percent.
Brent crude was up $1.04, or 3.15 percent, at $34.09 a barrel after falling more than 3 percent on Monday. US crude was up $1.00 to $27.07 per barrel.
Gold edged up 0.05 percent to $1,662.59 per ounce.
Chris Weston, head of research at Melbourne brokerage Pepperstone, said: “The market is front running what it believes is a peak in the virus case count with Europe leading the way.
“You can almost smell the fear of missing out from active managers.”
7.57am update: Asian stocks rally
Japan’s Nikkei rose 2 percent and has erased most of last week’s losses after Prime Minister Shinzo Abe promised a massive $991 billion economic stimulus package – equal to 20 percent of GDP.
MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan pared early gains, but rose 1.4 percent
7.47am update: FTSE index opens
The FTSE-100 index opened at 5582.39.
7.37am: FTSE 100 and Euro futures rise
FTSE futures gained 3.08 percent and EuroSTOXX 50 futures rose 0.61 percent, pointing to a steady open in Europe, while US stock futures were steady after trading either side of flat through the Asian day.
Published at Tue, 07 Apr 2020 06:39:00 +0000