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Stocks, Futures Rally in Positive Sign for U.S. Markets

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04/06/2020 | 03:15am EDT

By Xie Yu

Global markets rose on Monday, with several stock indexes in the Asia-Pacific region adding more than 4% and S&P 500 futures rising, suggesting U.S. markets could also gain ground later in the day.

Australia's benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index gained 4.3%. Japan's Nikkei 225 rose 4.2%, and South Korea's Kospi Composite advanced 3.3%. Hong Kong's benchmark Hang Seng Index was up 1.7% in midafternoon trade.

E-mini S&P 500 futures rose 3.8%. The yield on the 10-year U.S. Treasury note rose to 0.627%, up from 0.587% on Friday. Yields move in the opposite direction from bond prices.

On Sunday, New York reported its first one-day decline in deaths caused by the new coronavirus, although Gov. Andrew Cuomo said it was too early to understand the significance of that number. New York is the U.S. state with the most confirmed cases.

Some daily death tolls for Covid-19, the respiratory disease caused by the coronavirus, fell in Western Europe, with Italy reporting the fewest deaths in more than two weeks. France reported the lowest number in five days and Spain's tally fell for three days in a row.

"A sense of eagerness to see a turn in the spread of the virus and economic growth is driving the market today," said Govinda Finn, an economist at Aberdeen Standard Investments. However, Mr. Finn added: "I wouldn't have massive confidence that we are there yet, so I think the rally probably won't last long."

Brent crude, the global oil benchmark, fell steeply in early trade before rebounding 0.2% to $34.16.

The Saudi-led Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries will convene a virtual meeting on Thursday with other oil-producing nations including Canada and Russia, aiming to negotiate a truce in a Saudi-Russia fight for market share that has cratered oil prices over the past month.

President Trump threatened to impose tariffs on oil imports if Russia and Saudi Arabia couldn't resolve their differences.

Dwyfor Evans, head of macro strategy for Asia Pacific at State Street Global Markets in Hong Kong, said several factors were slowly improving market sentiment.

He said these included a possible oil deal, global stimulus packages, and signs that lockdowns in the U.S. and Europe were helping slow the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.

However, he said volatility remained high and cross-asset correlations, or typical relationships between prices of different assets, had broken down, suggesting the market was still under stress. "We have good days and bad days. Sometimes they follow each other," he said.

Markets in mainland China were closed for a holiday.

Major U.S. indexes registered modest declines last week, while bonds continued to rally. The yield on the 10-year U.S. Treasury note fell for a third straight week, as investors rushed into safer assets.

Write to Xie Yu at Yu.Xie@wsj.com


Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
ASX LIMITED 0.18% 84.8 End-of-day quote.8.15%
BYD COMPANY LIMITED 3.62% 77.3 End-of-day quote.98.97%
DJ INDUSTRIAL 1.44% 26075.3 Delayed Quote.-8.63%
HANG SENG -2.09% 25701.81 Real-time Quote.-8.83%
KOSPI COMPOSITE INDEX 1.83% 2188.72 Real-time Quote.-2.26%
LONDON BRENT OIL -0.84% 42.456711 Delayed Quote.-35.88%
NASDAQ 100 0.76% 10836.333146 Delayed Quote.24.08%
NASDAQ COMP. 0.66% 10617.443394 Delayed Quote.18.33%
NIKKEI 225 2.22% 22784.74 Real-time Quote.-5.77%
S&P 500 1.05% 3185.04 Delayed Quote.-1.42%
S&P/ASX 200 0.98% 5977.5 Real-time Quote.-11.44%
THE GLOBAL LTD. -3.30% 205 End-of-day quote.-56.48%
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