Global markets rebound on easing virus fears
Asian and European stocks advanced Tuesday, after more Wall Street records overnight on easing investor concerns over the economic impact of China’s coronavirus outbreak.
Investors were looking ahead to any comments on the fallout from US Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell in his testimony to Congress on Tuesday and Wednesday.
In late morning European trade, Frankfurt and London stock markets each were up 0.7 percent while Paris gained 0.4 percent.
The positive mood followed Monday’s rallies on Wall Street, where the S&P 500 and the tech-heavy Nasdaq hit fresh records on easing global worries over the coronavirus.
“European equities have continued the rebound begun yesterday in the US,” said IG analyst Chris Beauchamp.
“But… investors have yet to see an end in sight for the crisis in China and with other assets like oil so far refusing to respond in bullish fashion some will worry that equities are beginning to run out of road in the short-term.
“For now, practically the only data outside of virus infections that matters is China’s economic growth.”
All eyes are on China as the world’s second-largest economy sputters back to life after a forced extension to the Lunar New Year holiday because of the outbreak, which has killed more than 1,000 people and disrupted major global supply chains.
After a nervous start to the week that saw Asian bourses plunge, most bounced back.
Hong Kong closed up 1.3 percent, while mainland China’s benchmark Shanghai Composite Index was 0.4 percent higher. Tokyo was closed for a public holiday.
The 2019-nCoV virus, which emerged in central China, has spooked equity and oil markets for weeks, having spread to more than two dozen countries.
More than 42,000 infections have been confirmed so far in mainland China and President Xi Jinping has described the situation in Hubei, the outbreak epicentre, as “still very grave”.
– Stimulus expectations –
Chinese authorities are expected to make policy interventions to help ease the economic hit from the virus, analysts said, which could boost market confidence.
“While… uncertainties remain around nCoV, one sure thing you can probably count on is that the mother of all stimulus measures will get laid down by the (Chinese central bank),” wrote Stephen Innes, chief market strategist for Asia-Pacific at AxiCorp.
A number of earnings reports are also expected this week, including from companies that could suffer a coronavirus hit to their numbers.
Chinese tech giant Alibaba, Japanese automaker Nissan and MGM Resorts are among the firms scheduled to announce results this week.
China, the world’s largest importer and consumer of oil, was already battling an economic slowdown when the coronavirus emerged.
Fears of a decline in demand from China, and the resulting supply glut, has caused oil prices to tumble in recent weeks.
But main oil contracts rebounded on Tuesday. Brent Crude was up 1.5 percent while West Texas Intermediate rose 1.3 percent.
– Key figures at 1045 GMT –
London – FTSE 100: UP 0.7 percent at 7,501.22 points
Frankfurt – DAX 30: UP 0.7 percent at 13,585.67
Paris – CAC 40: UP 0.4 percent at 6,041.41
EURO STOXX 50: UP 0.6 percent at 3,814.02
Hong Kong – Hang Seng: UP 1.3 percent at 27,583.88 (close)
Shanghai – Composite: UP 0.4 percent at 2,901.67 (close)
Tokyo – Nikkei 225: Closed for public holiday
New York – Dow: UP 0.6 percent at 29,276.82 (close)
New York – S&P 500: UP 0.7 percent at 3,352.09 (close)
New York – Nasdaq: UP 1.1 percent at 9,628.39 (close)
Euro/dollar: UP at $1.0919 from $1.0911 at 2200 GMT
Pound/dollar: UP at $1.2928 from $1.2915
Euro/pound: DOWN at 84.45 pence from 84.49 pence
Dollar/yen: UP at 109.86 yen from 109.77 yen
Brent Crude: UP 1.5 percent at $54.07 per barrel
West Texas Intermediate: UP 1.3 percent at $50.21