The blue chip FTSE 100 was up 3.2 per cent in early trading this morning following weeks of struggles as the UK fights the huge economic impact from the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. However, the gains were capped after reports Prime Minister Boris Johnson was still in the hospital on Monday suffering persistent coronavirus symptoms 10 days after testing positive.
The domestically focused midcaps gained 3.4 percent.
Meanwhile, European stock index futures shot up more than 4 percent on Monday after Italy reported its lowest daily deaths for more than two weeks on Sunday and France’s daily death toll from the COVID-19 dropped.
Euro Stoxx 50 futures were up 3.5 percent, with German DAX futures and French CAC futures gaining 4.0 percent and 3.2 percent, respectively.
FTSE 100 rose by 3.2percent
Stock markets globally were on steadier grounds after last week’s modest selloff as the rate of new infections and deaths slowed in Italy and Spain, while hard-hit New York reported on Sunday that deaths had fallen slightly from the day before.
Aero-engine maker Rolls-Royce rose 10.6 percent after revealing it had secured an additional £1.5 billion ($1.8 billion) revolving credit facility, but said it was scrapping its targets and final dividend.
Legal & General Group surged 13.7 percent, recovering sharply from last week’s losses after the insurer said it planned to pay its 2019 dividend even after a European Union regulator said insurers should temporarily halt payouts.
FTSE 100: The city of London reacts to the coronavirus outbreak
Healthcare company Novacyt rose 8.3 percent after its COVID-19 diagnostic test won French approval, making it available for immediate distribution in France
Ian Williams, an analyst at Peel Hunt LLP in London: “There are tentative signs that equity investors may be looking through what remains a worrying pick-up in COVID-19 cases.”
The benchmark STOXX 600 index has tumbled 28 percent – or lost more than $3 trillion in market value – since mid February, when the worldwide spread of the coronavirus prompted nationwide stay-at-home orders, virtually halting economic activity.
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FTSE 100: Global stock markets rose as coronavirus fears eased
Meanwhile, data on Friday showed business activity in the eurozone contracted severely in March, foreshadowing a deep economic and earnings recession and raising the threat of corporate defaults and more mass layoffs.
Frank Benzimra, head of Asia equity strategy at Societe Generale, said: “The stabilisation we are seeing in the market today is welcomed but it is something really fragile.”
Jeffrey Halley, Senior Market Analyst, Asia Pacific, OANDA, said:”With a very light calendar globally today, there is enough momentum to keep the equity rally running through the course of the day and also into European time.”
“All bets are off after that although I could see a couple of days of positive sentiment ahead, especially if those mortality rates keep falling.”
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The Dow Jones rose after Trump said coronavirus cases were levelling
1.50pm update: Wall Street futures up
Wall Street S&P 500 emini futures were up almost 3.5 percent and major volatility gauges dropped too, buoyed by comments from US President Donald Trump that his country was also seeing a “levelling off” of the crisis.
Rabobank’s Head of Macro Strategy Elwin de Groot said:”What is driving the market is the evidence that the number of new cases has started to turn the corner.”
1pm update: Russia ready to coordinate after oil price slump
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Moscow was ready to coordinate with other oil exporting countries to help stabilise the market and that the OPEC+ meeting was delayed for technical reasons.
OPEC+ is working on a deal to cut production by about 10 percent of world supply, or 10 million barrels per day (bpd), in what member states expect to be an unprecedented global effort.
FTSE 100: The UK is lockdown as coronavirus sweeps across the world
12.45pm update: US stock markets surge
Dow Jones Industrial Average futures implied a gain of about 830 points at the open.
S&P 500 futures were up 3.9 percent and Nasdaq -100 futures were up 4 percent.
12.22pm update: US dollar rises against Japanese yen
The USdollar stalled against most currencies on Monday but continued its rise versus the Japanese yen as investors digested the fact that the rate of deaths from coronavirus in Europe was slowing while deaths in Japan and elsewhere in Asia accelerated.
With traders getting back some of the “risk on” mood, the yen fell, while the Australian and New Zealand dollars, which tend to benefit from sharper risk appetite, rose.
Kit Juckes, Societe Generale’s macro strategist, said: “The FX implication is yen weakness as Japan’s virus situation worsens and equities bounce.”
The greenback rose 0.7percent to 109.38 yen, a 10-day high, while the Australian dollar rose 1.3percent at 0.6071 per US dollar.
With the UK on lockdown over the coronavirus pandemic, Debenhams was forced to close 142 stores and put the majority of the 22,000 staff on furlough. The current owners want to push the business into administration then buy it back debt-free.
Debenhams said: “This move will protect Debenhams from the threat of legal action that could have the effect of pushing the business into liquidation while its 142 UK stores remain closed in line with the Government’s current advice regarding the Covid-19 pandemic.”.
10.46am update: FTSE 100 update
The FTSE-100 index was up 123.16 at 5538.66 at 10.45am
Department store chain Debenhams is on the brink of collapse after bosses confirmed it has filed a notice of intent to appoint administrators.
The closures will affect around 22,000 workers.
9.11am update: Global stocks show rise
In Asia, Australia’s benchmark index rose 4.33 percent; Japan’s Nikkei added 4.24 percent after a slow start while South Korea’s KOSPI index climbed 3.85%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index was 2.18 percent higher.
That sent MSCI’s broadest index of Asian shares outside of Japan up almost 2.03 percent, on track for its best performance in over a week.
9.05am update: US stock futures rise after Trump expresses hope
US stock futures rose 4 percent in Asian hours, trading close to its upper limit after US President Donald Trump expressed hope the country was seeing a “levelling off” of the coronavirus crisis.
9am update: Pound falls after Boris’ hospital admittance
In currency markets, sterling fell 0.06 percent in Asia after British Prime Minister Boris Johnson was admitted to hospital following persistent coronavirus symptoms 10 days after testing positive for the virus.
8.55am update: Oil prices falls
Oil prices skidded after Saudi-Russian negotiations to cut output were delayed, keeping oversupply concerns alive.
Brent crude fell as much as $4 after Saudi Arabia and Russia postponed their meeting, initially scheduled for Monday, to Thursday even as the virus pandemic pummels demand.
8.17am update: FTSE 100 rises
At 8.15am the FTSE-100 index was up 164.47 at 5579.97.
8.04am update: FTSE 100 opens
The FTSE-100 index opened at 5415.50.