Global stocks rise as lockdown measures ease further

By: AFP      Published: 07:08 PM, 27 May, 2020
Global stocks rise as lockdown measures ease further

Global stock markets rose on Wednesday as more easing of coronavirus lockdowns created a positive buzz on trading floors, analysts said.

Investors on both sides of the Atlantic mostly brushed aside deteriorating China-US relations and the impact of Hong Kong protests, they reported.

"The market is reacting positively to coronavirus lockdowns being eased across the globe," said Stephen Innes, chief global markets strategist at AxiCorp.

Adding to optimism was a proposal by European Union chief Ursula von der Leyen for a 750 billion euro ($825 billion) post-virus recovery fund for Europe.

If she can win over sceptical member states to push it through, the stimulus package will be the biggest in EU history, adding to already mind-boggling amounts of stimulus and central bank pledges of support across the planet.

Another lift

"The announcement gave European shares another lift earlier with the number being proposed larger than what Germany and France previously agreed," OANDA analyst Craig Erlam told AFP.

On Wall Street, the Dow Jones index was up more than 300 points in early business, while Europe's key markets added up to two percent.

A warning from French statistics bureau INSEE that France's economy could contract 20 percent in the second quarter on the virus lockdown had little impact.

Asian stocks mostly slid -- Hong Kong falling the hardest as police fired pepper-ball rounds on anti-China protesters, with investors fearing the demonstrations could erupt into the worst unrest since last summer.

Potential consequences

Markets are also fretting over reports that the US has warned it will impose sanctions on Chinese entities and officials if it goes ahead with a sweeping national security law.

"Despite fears of the implications for Hong Kong in the event that the controversial Chinese security bill is passed, markets are understandably aware of the potential consequences for US-China relations," Mahony added. 

Concerns about the growing crisis have weighed on the yuan, which has lost almost three percent this year, with observers suggesting it could hit a record low.

Key figures around 1340 GMT

London - FTSE 100: UP 1.2 percent at 6,142.65 points 

Frankfurt - DAX 30: UP 1.5 percent at 11,675.47 

Paris - CAC 40: UP 1.8 percent at 4,687.13 

EURO STOXX 50: UP 1.7 percent at 3,051.11 

New York - Dow: UP 1.2 percent at 25,297.51

Tokyo - Nikkei 225: UP 0.7 at 21,419.23 (close)

Hong Kong - Hang Seng: DOWN 0.4 percent at 23,301.36 (close)

Shanghai - Composite: DOWN 0.3 percent at 2,836.80 (close) 

Brent North Sea crude: DOWN 2.3 percent at $35.92 per barrel 

West Texas Intermediate: DOWN 2.5 percent at $33.51 

Euro/dollar: UP at $1.0994 from $1.0982 at 2100 GMT 

Dollar/yen: UP at 107.84 yen from 107.54 

Pound/dollar: DOWN at $1.2256 from $1.2334 

Euro/pound: UP at 89.71 pence from 89.04 pence