European equities turn higher with U.S. index futures and Asian shares on hopes for a breakthrough in fighting the coronavirus
European equities turned higher with U.S. index futures and Asian shares on hopes for a breakthrough in in fighting the coronavirus, and as investors digested the latest corporate earnings. Treasuries reversed earlier gains.
The Stoxx Europe 600 Index rebounded alongside contracts on the three main American gauges after a string of reports on possible vaccines and treatments for the deadly Wuhan virus. Gains in tech and travel shares were supported by PMI readings that suggested the euro-area economy began 2020 on an unexpectedly strong note.
Asian equities notched the first back-to-back daily gain in two weeks, even as Hong Kong quarantined 3,600 cruise passengers and crew after discovering coronavirus patients had boarded the ships earlier. Crude oil remained in the green in New York trading, heading for the first rise in six sessions. The dollar erased an advance against its major peers.
Investors are weighing their optimism from earlier this week alongside the latest reports on containing the virus and corporate warnings about its impact. United Airlines and American Airlines both suspended flights to Hong Kong for a time due to a drop in demand. That city’s stocks pared gains after a report on potential new curbs to contain the virus.
Sky News reported early Wednesday that U.K. scientists have made significant progress in a vaccine for the virus. Chinese researchers have applied for a local patent on an experimental Gilead Sciences Inc. drug that they believe might fight the pathogen.
Against a somewhat improved backdrop, markets appear healthier this morning, said Nema Ramkhelawan-Bhana, an analyst at Firstrand Bank Ltd. In Johannesburg. Investors appear less fearful of the secondary effects of the virus despite travel restrictions still being in place, suggesting that, though harmful, the impact on the global economy will be short-lived.
Elsewhere, Thailand’s baht slid after policy makers there cut interest rates, and Singapore’s dollar fell after that city’s central bank said there was room for easing. Tesla Inc.’s stock continued to surge after its quarterly earnings, helping some related firms in Asia. One China supplier climbed by the 10% limit for a second day Wednesday, helping the ChiNext Index recoup post-Lunar New Year losses.
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