Global markets rise before US earnings season

Passersby walk past an electronic board showing Japan's Nikkei share average (top right) and Asian countries' stock indexes outside a brokerage in Tokyo December 19, 2014. — Reuters pic
Passersby walk past an electronic board showing Japan's Nikkei share average (top right) and Asian countries' stock indexes outside a brokerage in Tokyo December 19, 2014. — Reuters pic

LONDON, July 13 — World stock markets advanced today, spurred higher by investor hopes over upcoming US earnings and a coronavirus vaccine, dealers said.

Asian and European equities bounded higher as investors followed a strong performance on Wall Street, though a spike in Covid-19 infections capped gains.

Oil prices fell on festering fears over demand-destroying coronavirus, and before this week’s expanded OPEC+ technical gathering of key crude producers which are expected to curb production cuts.

The dollar traded mixed.

Equity traders are now looking to the corporate earnings season, which will reveal how companies fared during the second quarter—when economy-sapping lockdowns were imposed around the world.

“The mood remains upbeat as the new week kicks off and US earning season moves into focus,” said City Index analyst Fiona Cincotta.

“Given that in April and some of May, the US was in full-scale lock down, second-quarter results bore the brunt of the coronavirus crisis.

“JP Morgan, Citigroup and Wells Fargo are first to set the scene, with Goldman Sachs, Netflix and Johnson & Johnson helping to give further insights as to the coronavirus impact later in the week.”

Sense of virus optimism -

Investors also welcomed comments on Friday from the head of German biotech firm BioNTech who said a vaccine candidate would be ready for regulatory review by the end of the year, while Gilead Sciences said its drug remdesivir had been relatively effective in clinical trials.

“There was a sense of optimism circulating on the back of hopes for a treatment for coronavirus,” noted CMC Markets analyst David Madden.

London stocks won 0.9 per cent in late Monday morning deals while Frankfurt won one per cent and Paris gained 0.8 per cent.

In Asia, Tokyo led the gains, adding more than two per cent, while Shanghai, Seoul and Taipei were all more than one per cent higher.

Hong Kong added 0.2 per cent but bigger gains were pared on concerns about a fresh spike in infections in the city.

Trillions of dollars in government support is also keeping global equities well supported, but confidence is being strangled by the spread of the disease, with an explosion of cases forcing some countries to reimpose containment measures just weeks after easing lockdowns.

Back in Paris, Ubisoft shares dived nine per cent Monday after the gaming company revealed over the weekend that its second most powerful executive was among senior staff to have left the firm as it pursues an internal investigation into sexual harassment allegations.

Last month the French company, one of the world’s largest video game publishers whose portfolio includes Assassin’s Creed and Far Cry, launched a probe after allegations of sexual misconduct were shared online.

Serge Hascoet, chief creative officer and the company’s second-in-command, has now resigned along with human resources director Cecile Cornet, Ubisoft said.

Key figures around 1045 GMT 

London — FTSE 100: UP 0.9 per cent at 6,152.48

Frankfurt — DAX 30: UP 1.0 per cent at 12,753.55

Paris — CAC 40: UP 0.8 per cent at 5,010.94

EURO STOXX 50: UP 1.0 per cent at 3,327.59

Tokyo — Nikkei 225: UP 2.2 per cent at 22,784.74 (close)

Hong Kong — Hang Seng: UP 0.2 per cent at 25,772.12 (close)

Shanghai — Composite: UP 1.8 per cent at 3,443.29 (close)

New York — Dow: UP 1.4 per cent at 26,075.30 (close)

West Texas Intermediate: DOWN 1.6 per cent at US$39.91 per barrel

Brent North Sea crude: DOWN 1.3 per cent at US$42.70 per barrel

Euro/dollar: UP at US$1.1308 from US$1.1300 at 2100 GMT

Dollar/yen: UP at 107.08 yen from 106.93 yen

Pound/dollar: DOWN at US$1.2604 from US$1.2622

Euro/pound: UP at 89.74 pence from 89.53 pence  — AFP

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