World stocks gain amid rising coronavirus cases


Markets showed signs of optimism on Friday, with European shares opening higher and oil prices rising despite a record number of new COVID-19 infections in the United States.

They rose across the U.S. by at least 39,818 on Thursday, the largest one-day increase of the pandemic.

However, European shares opened higher, with the Stoxx 600 up 0.8% and London’s FTSE 100 up 1% at 0736 GMT .FTSE.

The MSCI world equity index, which tracks shares in 49 countries, was up 0.3%, extending gains from late on Thursday.

“Even though we continue to see some pretty scary virus numbers coming out of the U.S., it’s not really dented sentiment – not to any sustained degree at least,” said Timothy Graf, head of EMEA macro strategy at State Street Global Advisors.

Graf said that recent temporary downward corrections of market optimism have had very little follow-through.

The possibility of a second coronavirus wave and renewed lockdowns has limited market impact because if lockdown measures resume then markets expect this to raise the likelihood of more fiscal support for economies.

“There is a disconnect between what you feel should be the case looking at virus numbers and equities and riskier currencies holding up relatively well and volatility receding, but at the same time we’ve never seen a policy response like this, not in the last 80 years at least,” Graf said.

Having risen between 0500 and 0700 GMT, the dollar fell in early London trading to 97.317 against a basket of currencies by 0745 GMT

The New Zealand dollar was up 0.2% NZD=D3, having spent most of June at the level it was at before the coronavirus crisis for markets peaked in March.

Meanwhile, oil prices rose on Friday, extending gains on optimism about a recovery in fuel demand worldwide, despite signs of a revival in U.S. crude production.

Peace PIAK