London’s blue chip FTSE 100 index opened at 5,597.65 as global coronavirus cases surpassed 2 million
The FTSE 100 has shaken off two days of falls to open in the green this morning as global cases of coronavirus surpassed 2 million.
London’s blue chip FTSE 100 index opened at 5,597.65 as the coronavirus continues to grip the world. Gains in battered travel stocks helped London’s Stock Exchange come out of a two-day slump on Thursday, while investors awaited lockdown exit plans from major economies.
The blue-chip index rose 0.4 percent by 8.16am, with easyJet gaining 7.8 percent after it said steps taken to shore up its finances will help it survive a lengthy fleet grounding during the coronavirus.
Cruise operator Carnival Plc and IAG-owned British Airways also gained more than 4.5 percent. The domestically focused midcap index rose 0.7 percent.
Asset manager Schroders rose 2.8 percent after it reported net new business of £30.4 billion, largely thanks to an influx of assets from the Scottish Widows investment mandate, offsetting a fall in total assets in first quarter.
It comes after Health Minister Matt Hancock said the outbreak is starting to peak in Britain, but it is too early to lift the lockdown.
Lockdown restrictions are expected to be extended today during a government announcement.
Meanwhile US President Donald Trump is expected to announce “new guidelines” for reopening the economy, where unemployment benefit claims is forecast to have surged above an astounding 20 million over the past month.
US retail sales fell the most on record last month, while manufacturing output fell by the most in 74 years, raising fears of a deep recession.
In Asia, growth will grind to zero for the first time in 60 years in 2020, the International Monetary Fund said on Thursday, as exporters are pounded by slumping demand and anti-virus measures force consumers to stay home and shops to shut down.
In Japan, where a Reuters survey showed most firms feel stimulus measures announced so far are insufficient, the Nikkei N225 fell 1.3 percent.
E-mini futures for the S&P 500 ESc1 were 0.3 percent lower following a 2.2 percent drop on Wall Street overnight.
Paul Chew, head of research at Singapore brokerage Phillip Securities, said: It’s just a reminder of how deep the economic weakness has been.