European markets are slumping Thursday, as another rally spurred by hopes of a robust post-pandemic economic recovery is ended by fears of a further spread of the coronavirus.
The FTSE in London lost 0.2% in late afternoon trading, Paris’s CAC-40 index is 0.6% lower, and Frankfurt’s DAX index is down 0.4%.
Asian markets were mixed Thursday, with the Nikkei index in Tokyo falling 0.4%, while Hong Kong’s index, the Hang Seng, was down but virtually unchanged and Shanghai’s Composite was up 0.1%.
Elsewhere in the region, Sydney’s S&P/ASX index was down 0.9%, Seoul’s KOSPI index was 0.3% lower, the TSEC in Taiwan was up 0.1%, and Mumbai’s Sensex soared 2% higher.
Global markets had surged earlier in the week after central banks in the United States and Japan pledged to buy corporate bonds to reinvigorate economic activity that was halted by the coronavirus pandemic. Investors were also cheered Wednesday by news that U.S. retail sales rose a record 17.7% in May.
But several U.S. states are reporting a rise in the daily number of COVID-19 infections, while Beijing is battling an outbreak that has led to quarantines on a handful of neighborhoods.
Oil markets are on the rebound, with U.S. crude oil selling at $38.36 per barrel, up 0.4%, while Brent crude oil is selling at $41.23, up 1.2%. Meanwhile, all three U.S. indexes are mixed in futures trading ahead of Thursday’s opening bell.