June 17, 2020: Global stocks powered higher Wednesday as strong US retail sales data bolstered confidence in the economic recovery, even as China further tightened restrictions to try to limit a fresh coronavirus outbreak in Beijing.
Major indices in Europe and the United States gained following a surprisingly big rebound in retail sales in May, which came after an April marred by widespread coronavirus shutdowns.
Analysts also pointed to a boost from positive results from a clinical trial on the steroid dexamethasone as a treatment for coronavirus, as well as to reports that US President Donald Trump was considering a $1.0-trillion infrastructure investment package.
“As with the blowout government jobs report, this retail sales beat is one of the most bullish economic surprises ever, and while the weak industrial production report could warn of a more sluggish recovery in the manufacturing sector, the outlook for the US economy is still bright,” said Gorilla Trades strategist Ken Berman.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended up 2.0 percent, gaining around 525 points, to close at 26,289.98.
Earlier, bourses in Frankfurt, London and Paris all rose by around three percent, while Asian stock markets also rebounded after suffering big losses on Monday.
Tokyo's main stocks index was boosted by the latest Bank of Japan move to ramp up aid for firms struggling with virus fallout.
The BoJ expanded its zero-interest loan program to firms to 90 trillion yen ($837 billion) from 55 trillion yen. Its total war-chest for companies amounts to 110 trillion yen when corporate bond purchases are taken into account.
The BoJ also made no change to its ultra-loose monetary policy framework, which involves unlimited purchases of government bonds and a negative interest rate.
Meanwhile, Beijing urged its residents to not leave the city and closed schools again as authorities scramble to contain a “severe” new coronavirus outbreak in the city of 21 million people.
The coronavirus resurgence — believed to have started in the capital's sprawling Xinfadi wholesale food market — has prompted alarm as China had largely brought its outbreak under control through mass testing and draconian lockdowns.
– Key figures around 2100 GMT –
New York – Dow: UP 2.0 percent at 26,289.98 (close)
New York – S&P 500: UP 1.9 percent at 3,124.74 (close)
New York – Nasdaq: UP 1.8 percent at 9,895.87 (close)
London – FTSE 100: UP 2.9 percent at 6,242.79 (close)
Frankfurt – DAX 30: UP 3.4 percent at 12,315.66 (close)
Paris – CAC 40: UP 2.8 percent at 4,952.46 (close)
EURO STOXX 50: UP 3.4 percent at 3,242.65 (close)
Tokyo – Nikkei 225: UP 4.9 percent at 22,582.21 (close)
Hong Kong – Hang Seng: UP 2.4 percent at 24,344.09 (close)
Shanghai – Composite: UP 1.4 percent at 2,931.75 (close)
West Texas Intermediate: UP 3.4 percent at $38.38 per barrel
Brent North Sea crude: UP 3.1 percent at $40.96 per barrel
Euro/dollar: DOWN at $1.1263 from $1.1323 at 2100 GMT
Dollar/yen: DOWN at 107.31 yen from 107.33 yen
Pound/dollar: DOWN at $1.2570 from $1.2605
Euro/pound: DOWN at 89.57 from 89.83 pence