Global equities rebound as lockdowns ease

Optimism over easing measures wins over fear of surging coronavirus infections

AFP June 30, 2020
A Reuters file image.

LONDON:

Stock markets on both sides of the Atlantic rebounded on Monday from last week’s losses as optimism over easing lockdowns won out over fear of surging coronavirus infections.

Most of the session was tepid “with the positive implications of easing lockdown measures weighed up against surging Covid-19 cases throughout the US,” said Joshua Mahony, senior market analyst at online trading firm IG.

But by the close, European key markets were more than one per cent higher, helped by steady gains on Wall Street over the New York morning.

“US stocks are trimming some of last week’s tumble that came courtesy of exacerbated concerns regarding a potential second wave of Covid-19,” said analysts at the Charles Schwab brokerage.

London got a mild boost from investors welcoming British Prime Minister Boris Johnson saying the coronavirus crisis needed the type of massive economic response US president Franklin D Roosevelt mobilised to tackle the Great Depression.

Travel stocks were up, with both TUI and EasyJet surging higher. BP’s share price jumped after the British energy major, hit hard by weak oil demand, announced the sale of its petrochemical business to privately-owned rival Ineos.

Earlier, Asian equity markets had tanked in response to rising virus cases in the US, and after China imposed a strict lockdown on nearly half a million people in a province surrounding Beijing to contain a fresh cluster, with a city official calling the situation “severe and complicated”.

Bars in Los Angeles and six other counties in California - with a joint population of more than 13 million people - were ordered to close again, just over a week after reopening, while San Francisco was stalling its easing measures.

Published in The Express Tribune, June 30th, 2020.

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