June 4, 2020: The further easing of lockdown measures and signs that economies could be past the worst of the coronavirus crisis kept investors upbeat Thursday but markets fluctuated on profit-taking.
With more and more countries slowly reopening their battered economies after months of shutdowns and the backing of trillions of dollars in stimulus and central bank support, global markets have been on a roll for weeks.
And in a sign of the optimism on trading floors, the Nasdaq climbed to within spitting distance of its all-time high, while the S&P is less than 10 percent short of its own record.
With cafes and popular attractions back up and running across Europe, several countries including Germany, Italy, Austria and Belgium began easing border restrictions, fanning hopes for the shattered tourism sector as summer gets underway.
Germany also said it will pump 130 billion euros ($146 billion) into a stimulus package to kick-start the region's biggest economy, and later in the day, the European Central Bank is expected to boost its 750-billion-euro bond-buying program by a further 500 billion euros.
Wednesday also saw the release of US data showing another 2.76 million private jobs were lost in May, which was well below the nine million expected by economists, indicating there is light at the end of the tunnel.
“Global equity markets have remained in a buoyant mood fuelled by the prospect of economies reopening while data releases have supported the notion that the worst of the economic downturn could be behind us,” said Rodrigo Catril of National Australia Bank.
In early trade, Hong Kong dipped 0.2 percent, having rallied around six percent over the previous three days.
Traders were also keeping an eye on the streets of the city on the anniversary of the Tiananmen Square crackdown, which usually draws huge crowds but has been banned this year over virus concerns.
Tokyo rose 0.1 percent by the break, Sydney added 0.6 percent and there were also gains in Wellington, Taipei and Jakarta, with Manila more than two percent up. Seoul and Singapore dipped 0.1 percent.