Global markets rebound on hopes for limited virus impact

February 19, 2020: World stock markets mostly rebounded Wednesday on investor hopes that the deadly coronavirus will have only a short-term impact on corporate earnings and economic growth.

Nearing midday, London stocks gained 0.8 percent, as official data showed that UK annual inflation surged to 1.8 percent in January.

In the eurozone, Frankfurt added 0.5 percent and Paris gained 0.7 percent in value.

“Equity markets in Europe are higher… as the rate of new infections in China appears to be cooling,” said CMC Markets UK analyst David Madden.

“The coronavirus crisis is deepening, but it would appear it is spreading at a slightly slower pace, so dealers see that as a positive step.”

US and European indices had fallen Tuesday after Apple's warning that it would miss its quarterly revenue forecast due to the epidemic.

But Asian bourses turned higher Wednesday as investors bet on policymakers doing what is needed to minimize the fallout from the virus outbreak.

The illness, which has killed more than 2,000 people and infected over 74,000, has disrupted supply chains and forced the cancellation of high-profile sporting and cultural events.

As stimulus measures are rolled out in China and elsewhere, investors in Asia seem “confident that the region's governments will 'do what it takes' to offset the coronavirus slowdown”, said OANDA analyst Jeffrey Halley.

After four straight sessions in the red, Tokyo's benchmark Nikkei 225 index closed up 0.9 percent.

Hong Kong won 0.5 percent but mainland China's key Shanghai Composite Index sagged 0.3 percent.

The more sanguine mood came as Chinese officials released a study showing most patients have mild cases of the coronavirus, and World Health Organization officials said the mortality rate was relatively low.

IMF chief Kristalina Georgieva has said there could be a cut of around 0.1-0.2 percentage points to global growth but stressed there was much uncertainty about the virus's economic impact.

World oil prices meanwhile rebounded on hopes over solid energy demand in China.

The Asian powerhouse is the world's biggest importer and consumer of oil — and prices have been particularly sensitive to the epidemic that has spread to nearly 30 countries and territories.


Posted on: 2020-02-19T17:55:00+05:00