The commodity-heavy FTSE 100 was up 1.2 percent, with BP Plc and Royal Dutch Shell Plc providing the biggest boost. Miners including Rio Tinto, Glencore and BHP Group jumped between 2.0 percent and 3.4 percent. The mid-cap FTSE 250 rose 1 percent with data showing China’s industrial production climbed a faster-than-expected 3.9 percenr in April as the country returned to work after months of coronavirus-induced lockdowns.
Battered cruise operator Carnival Corp surged 7 percent to the top of the FTSE 100 after saying it was cutting 820 positions out of a workforce of roughly 3,000 employees in Florida as the future of the industry remains uncertain amid no-sail orders due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
It comes after Asian stocks struggled to gain on Friday and were on course to end the week lower as deteriorating US-China relations cut optimism over the reopening of major economies.
Worries about confrontations between the two largest economies in the world eclipsed Chinese economic data, which showed it economy is gradually recovering from the shock of the coronavirus outbreak.
With China the first to relax lockdowns, global investors are closely watching it for clues on how long demand will take to bounce back, as other countries begin to ease their own anti-virus measures.
MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan .MIAPJ0000PUS were little changed, with gains in Australia offset by falls in Hong Kong.
Japan’s Nikkei ipped 0.3 percent while mainland Chinese shares also ticked lower.
U.S. S&P500 futures ESc1 dipped 0.15 percent after the index gained 1.15 percent the previous day, recovering from a three-week low.
While many analysts regarded the drop as a natural correction after a fast rally since mid-March, they are also increasingly worried about US-China relations as US President Donald Trump blames China for the disease that killed more than 85,000 Americans.
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FTSE 100 LIVE: Asia shares struggled amid coronavirus tensions
1.38pm update: US retail sales savaged
US retail sales endured a second straight month of record declines in April as the coronavirus pandemic kept Americans at home, putting the economy on track for its biggest contraction in the second quarter since the Great Depression.
The Commerce Department said on Friday retail sales plunged 16.4 percent last month, the biggest decline since the government started tracking the series in 1992. Data for March was revised to show receipts at retailers falling 8.3 percent instead of dropping 8.7 percent as previously reported.
1.28pm update: Sturgeon keen to get economy moving
Nicola Sturgeon said while she was “very keen” to get the economy moving again, she warned social interactions had to be considered “carefully”.
The First Minister said: “A life where you go to work but stay locked down with no family interaction for the rest of the time is not one many of us, if any of us, would enjoy.
“Given that we are likely to have for quite a while to come very limited room for manoeuvre on that – and I want to stress that that is the case – we will need to get these balances as right as possible.”
1.17pm update: Barnier describes Brexit talks as ‘disappointing’
The EU’s Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier said on Friday that the third round of talks with Britain on a new partnership was “disappointing”.
He said: “We’re not going to bargain away our values for the benefit of the British economy.”
Mr Barnier said the bloc would not seal a new trade deal with London without level playing field guarantees of fair competition or without a comprehensive agreement on fisheries.
1.01pm update: FTSE 100 update
The FTSE 100 index at 12.45pm was up 24.42 at 5765.96.
12.42pm update: Holyrood urged to do more
Mairi Spowage, deputy director of the Fraser of Allander Institute economic think tank, said the UK Government has brought in “innovative” policies in response to the virus.
She said Holyrood ministers need to do more than “just the same old stuff”, and “not just saying we need more flexibility around the fiscal framework to borrow more money”.
She said: “It can’t just be about the UK Government being bold and ambitious, the Scottish Government needs to think about how it can spend its money in this unprecedented time to support economic recovery.”
World economies have been crippled by coronavirus
11.31am update: Sturgeon calls for Scots spending powers
Nicola Sturgeon said Holyrood’s fiscal powers must be extended to tackle the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, which echoed a Scottish independence plot by SNP.
SNP MP Andrew Wilson has put together a revised economic case for Scottish independence, which includes extending spending powers to Holyrood.
He calls for the Treasury to look into “transformational” new borrowing powers to tackle Scotland’s economic crisis and said ministers at Holyrood should be able to issue large-scale bonds to rejuvenate industries crippled by the COVID-19 crisis.
Echoing these same plans, Ms Sturgeon said: “Conversations with the Treasury are ongoing on a whole range of things.
“We have made clear that the current fiscal powers of the Scottish Parliament are probably not sufficient to deal with the reality now and into the future of this crisis.
So we want to have constructive discussions about how we change these powers in order to better equip us and that would be an ongoing discussion.”
10.47am update: FTSE 100 insight
The FTSE 100 index at 10.45am was up 77.33 at 5818.87.
9.17am update: FTSE up
The FTSE 100 index at 9.15am was up 72.34 at 5813.88.
The UK is on lockdown to fight the coronavirus
8.01am update: FTSE 100 opens
The FTSE 100 index opened at 5741.54.
7.47am update: FTSE unchanged
The FTSE 100 index at 7.44am was unchanged at 5741.54.
7.35am update: William Hill revenue drops
William Hill said its revenue dropped by more than half around the world as the coronavirus pandemic struck the global economy.
In the seven weeks to April 28, total net revenue dropped by 57 percent. The company’s operations in the US were hardest hit, falling by 90 percent.
Betting on sports reduced by 86 percent over the period, William Hill said, as many sports decided to cancel events entirely, meaning there was nothing to bet on.
However, online sports wagers fell by less than expected as customers started putting bets on table tennis and emerging market football.
Coronavirus is spreading across the UK
7.22am update: FTSE 100 on track to recoup losses
The FTSE is expected to open at 5,796, up 54 points.
CMC’s David Madden said: “Overnight, China announced several economic reports. The fixed asset investment reading for April was -10.3 percent, while the consensus estimate was -10 percent, and keep in mind the March update was -16 percent.
“Industrial production was 3.9 percent and economists were anticipating 1.5 percent, while the previous reading was -1.1 percent. Retail sales came in at -7.5 percent, and the forecast was -7 percent. The retail sales report for March was -15.8 percent.
“Traders responded well to the improving data from China, which is why stocks in Asia are a little higher. The European markets are on track to recoup some of yesterday’s losses.”
6.14am update: Coronavirus forces HSBC to cut global growth forecasts
Europe’s biggest bank, HSBC has cut already bleak global growth forecasts even further, as lockdown restrictions extended through April and tentative economic re-openings drag on a return to business, trade and spending.
The bank lowered its 2020 global gross domestic product forecast to a contraction of 4.8 percent, according to a note from chief economist Janet Henry dated May 12 and published on Friday.
It had forecast a 3.3 percent contraction for the year in early April. Many large banks last published growth forecasts around then and the cut could signal another round of dire predictions.
HSBC has downgraded its 2020 forecasts for the developed world from a contraction of 5.9 percent to a contraction of 7.1 percent and for emerging economies from 0.5 percent growth to a 1.7 percent contraction. It forecasts full year US GDP at -7.0 percent and China’s at 1.7 percent growth.