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FTSE 100 LIVE: Global stock markets buoyed by slowdown of coronavirus deaths in Europe

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The blue chip FTSE 100 was up 3.2 per cent in early trading this morning following weeks of struggles as the UK fights the huge economic impact from the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. However, the gains were capped after reports Prime Minister Boris Johnson was still in the hospital on Monday suffering persistent coronavirus symptoms 10…

The blue chip FTSE 100 was up 3.2 per cent in early trading this morning following weeks of struggles as the UK fights the huge economic impact from the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. However, the gains were capped after reports Prime Minister Boris Johnson was still in the hospital on Monday suffering persistent coronavirus symptoms 10 days after testing positive.

The domestically focused midcaps gained 3.4 percent.

Meanwhile, European stock index futures shot up more than 4 percent on Monday after Italy reported its lowest daily deaths for more than two weeks on Sunday and France’s daily death toll from the COVID-19 dropped.

Euro Stoxx 50 futures were up 3.5 percent, with German DAX futures and French CAC futures gaining 4.0 percent and 3.2 percent, respectively.

Stock markets globally were on steadier grounds after last week’s modest selloff as the rate of new infections and deaths slowed in Italy and Spain, while hard-hit New York reported on Sunday that deaths had fallen slightly from the day before.

Aero-engine maker Rolls-Royce rose 10.6 percent after revealing it had secured an additional £1.5 billion ($1.8 billion) revolving credit facility, but said it was scrapping its targets and final dividend.

Legal & General Group surged 13.7 percent, recovering sharply from last week’s losses after the insurer said it planned to pay its 2019 dividend even after a European Union regulator said insurers should temporarily halt payouts.

Healthcare company Novacyt rose 8.3 percent after its COVID-19 diagnostic test won French approval, making it available for immediate distribution in France

Ian Williams, an analyst at Peel Hunt LLP in London: “There are tentative signs that equity investors may be looking through what remains a worrying pick-up in COVID-19 cases.”

The benchmark STOXX 600 index has tumbled 28 percent – or lost more than $3 trillion in market value – since mid February, when the worldwide spread of the coronavirus prompted nationwide stay-at-home orders, virtually halting economic activity.

Meanwhile, data on Friday showed business activity in the eurozone contracted severely in March, foreshadowing a deep economic and earnings recession and raising the threat of corporate defaults and more mass layoffs.

Frank Benzimra, head of Asia equity strategy at Societe Generale, said: “The stabilisation we are seeing in the market today is welcomed but it is something really fragile.”

Jeffrey Halley, Senior Market Analyst, Asia Pacific, OANDA, said:”With a very light calendar globally today, there is enough momentum to keep the equity rally running through the course of the day and also into European time.”

“All bets are off after that although I could see a couple of days of positive sentiment ahead, especially if those mortality rates keep falling.”

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9.11am update: Global stocks show rise 

In Asia, Australia’s benchmark index rose 4.33 percent; Japan’s Nikkei added 4.24 percent after a slow start while South Korea’s KOSPI index climbed 3.85%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index was 2.18 percent higher.

That sent MSCI’s broadest index of Asian shares outside of Japan up almost 2.03 percent, on track for its best performance in over a week.

9.05am update: US stock futures rise after Trump expresses hope 

US stock futures rose 4 percent in Asian hours, trading close to its upper limit after US President Donald Trump expressed hope the country was seeing a “levelling off” of the coronavirus crisis.

9am update: Pound falls after Boris’ hospital admittance 

In currency markets, sterling fell 0.06 percent in Asia after British Prime Minister Boris Johnson was admitted to hospital following persistent coronavirus symptoms 10 days after testing positive for the virus.

8.55am update: Oil prices falls 

Oil prices skidded after Saudi-Russian negotiations to cut output were delayed, keeping oversupply concerns alive.

Brent crude fell as much as $4 after Saudi Arabia and Russia postponed their meeting, initially scheduled for Monday, to Thursday even as the virus pandemic pummels demand.

8.17am update: FTSE 100 rises 

At 8.15am the FTSE-100 index was up 164.47 at 5579.97.

8.04am update: FTSE 100 opens 

The FTSE-100 index opened at 5415.50.

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