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Global Stock Rally Builds With Virus Fears Easing: Markets Wrap

Stock MarketsFeb 05, 2020 11:20PM ET
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© Reuters. Global Stock Rally Builds With Virus Fears Easing: Markets Wrap

(Bloomberg) -- Stocks in Asia gained and the global rebounded in risk assets extended after data showed resilience in the U.S. economy and investors speculated the fallout from the coronavirus could be contained.

Japan led the charge, with benchmark equity gauges up about 2%, and bond yields pushing higher. Equities in Hong Kong and Seoul were also strong, while Shanghai saw modest gains. S&P 500 futures nudged higher after U.S. equities closed at an all-time high. Sentiment was also lifted after a string of reports on possible vaccines for the virus, but the World Health Organization later said there are no proven therapeutics. Crude oil climbed amid prospects for OPEC+ output cuts.

The WHO has pushed back against suggestions of imminent breakthroughs on vaccines or treatments as efforts to stop the virus spreading. Hong Kong is taking additional steps to quarantine all arrivals from mainland China and is shutting its cruise-ship terminal. Meantime, traders will be watching out for central bank decisions in India and the Philippines on Thursday.

“Companies are going to continue to struggle in the short term” with disruptions and forgone business due to the virus, said Joe Zidle, chief investment strategist at Blackstone (NYSE:BX) Group Inc. But China’s moves in recent days to reopen markets and inject stimulus “gave global investors a degree of confidence that the Chinese policy makers had at least taken the worst-case scenario off the table.”

Meantime, the Senate acquitted U.S. President Donald Trump of abuse of power and obstructing Congress.

Here are some key events coming up:

  • German factory orders for December are due Thursday, followed by industrial production on Friday.
  • The U.S. employment report for January is set for Friday release.
And these are the main moves in markets:

Stocks

  • Japan’s Topix index added 1.9% as of the lunch break in Tokyo.
  • South Korea’s Kospi index gained 1.9%.
  • Hang Seng Index rose 1.9%.
  • Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index climbed 1%.
  • Shanghai Composite Index added 0.6%.
  • Futures on the S&P 500 Index rose 0.2%. The underlying gauge climbed 1.1% on Wednesday.
  • MSCI Asia Pacific Index advanced 1.1%.
Currencies

  • The yen was at 109.89 per dollar, little changed.
  • The offshore yuan traded flat at 6.9773 per dollar.
  • The euro bought $1.0997, little changed.
Bonds

  • The yield on 10-year Treasuries remained at 1.65%.
  • Australia’s 10-year yield gained four basis points to 1.08%.
Commodities

  • West Texas Intermediate crude increased 2.8% to $52.12 a barrel.
  • Gold was steady at $1,554.35 an ounce.

Global Stock Rally Builds With Virus Fears Easing: Markets Wrap
 

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