Easing Lockdown Restrictions Boost Global Stock Markets

Lisa Smith, BA (Hons), CeFA
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Hopes that many countries are easing their coronavirus lockdowns has boosted trading on the world stock markets.

The signs of some return to normality look good in countries ravaged by the infection, like Italy and Spain.

The mood lifted after around 4 billion people spent most of the last five weeks at home.

In Italy, some shops will soon reopen, while children have left their homes in Spain for the first time in six weeks, albeit only for an hour of exercise.

In Britain, Prime Minister Boris Johnson, back behind his desk at 10 Downing Street, urged caution in the UK, but agreed the time to debate a coronavirus exit strategy had arrived.

“I know there will be many people looking at our apparent success and beginning to wonder whether now is the time to go easy on those social distancing measures,” he said.

Markets in the black

All the major markets ended the day in the black despite another negative rebound in oil prices.

In London, the FTSE 100 closed 1.64% up by 94.56 points at 5846.79, while the FTSE 250 climbed 1.69% (265.29 points) to 15952.72.

The Pound floated up 0.37% against the euro to €1.1468, 0.16% up against the Japanese Yen to ¥133.159 and rose 0.33% against the US dollar to $1.2408.

Oil suffered a reverse – with Brent crude falling 7.88% to $19.75 a barrel and West Texan Intermediate dropping 26.39% to $12.47.

Gold also had a setback, dropping $11.99 an ounce to $1,713.07.

Midday in US sees stocks rise

On Wall Street, prices picked up with the Dow Jones adding 1.2% to 24060.25 and the NASDAQ rising 1.23% to 8740.97. Chicago’s S&P 500 was also in positive territory, climbing 1.36% to 2875.42.

Markets across Europe closed higher, with the German DAX leading the way with a 3.3% increase of 323.9 points to 10659.99, followed by the Euro Stoxx with a 2.6% rise of 73.02 points to 2882.09, the CAC 40 in France heading up 2.55% or 11.94 points to 4505.26 and the IBEX in Spain gaining 1.78% to end the day at 6731.80.

Overnight trading in Hong Kong saw the Hang Seng finish 448.81 points up at 24280.14, a 1.88% increase, while the Nikkei in Japan rose 2.71% to 19783.22, up 521.22 points.

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