Coronavirus: US stocks open higher, part of a global equity rebound

Jodi Xu Klein

US stocks opened higher Friday, part of a global equities rebound, as investors weighed the coronavirus’ further economic disruption against the stimulus proposals intended to offset it.

The Nasdaq composite index, heavy in tech stocks, rose 3 per cent at the start of trading after futures jumped to the upper trading limit overnight. The Dow Jones Industrial Average and the Standard &Poor’s 500 index both edged up at the open.

The gains followed a modest recovery Thursday, ending in positive territory after several sessions of wild swings and sell-offs. Investors were awaiting the outcome of discussions among the Trump administration, the Republican-controlled Senate and the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives concerning massive stimulus packages to combat the outbreak.

The energy sector also saw a recovery on Thursday, with US crude oil prices posting their biggest single-day percentage jump on record.

US equities, however, are still poised for one of their worst weeks, following extreme volatility caused by the pandemic and its impact. The Dow is set for its worst week since the 2008 financial crisis.

As of Thursday morning, the total confirmed cases of Covid-19 in the US reached 14,250, with more than 200 deaths reported.

Earlier, European stocks also gained as a wave of fiscal and monetary stimulus tempted buyers back into markets.

US stocks edge up as governments scramble to contain virus and economic fallout

The picture had been the same in Asian markets. Hong Kong’s benchmark jumped by 5.1 per cent, the most in almost a decade, leading a broad regional rally as sentiment improved on steps by global central banks and policymakers to cushion economic damage from the coronavirus pandemic.

The Shanghai Composite Index closed 1.6 per cent firmer at 2,745.62 points, rising for the first time in eight sessions and paring its weekly loss to 4.9 per cent.

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