Global stock turn higher as investors watch virus impact


BEIJING (AP) — Global stock markets turned higher on Tuesday, at least temporarily shaking off jitters about China’s virus outbreak.

Indexes in London and Frankfurt advanced in Europe, while Shanghai, Hong Kong and Seoul closed higher. Tokyo fell for a second day.

“Concerns over the coronavirus appear to have once again receded,” said analyst Jingyi Pan of financial firm iG.

Anxiety about the virus has been partially offset by stronger U.S. corporate earnings and expectations that global central banks will step in to support economic growth.

London’s FTSE 100 was up 0.9% at 7,510 and Germany’s DAX added 0.8% to 13,604. France’s CAC 40 gained 0.4% to 6,038.

On Wall Street, futures for the S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.2% and 0.35 respectively.

In Asia, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index surged 1.3% to 27,583.88 while the Kospi in Seoul rose 1% to 2,223.12. The Shanghai Composite Index added 0.4% to 2,901.67.

Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 lost 0.6% to 23,685.98 while the S&P-ASX 200 in Australia gained 0.6% to 7,055.30.

India’s Sensex rose 0.6% to 41,217.79. New Zealand, Singapore and Indonesia also advanced.

Markets slid Monday after analysts warned investor optimism that China’s disease outbreak was under control might be premature.

The government reported 108 deaths in the 24 hours through midnight Monday, the first time the daily fatality toll exceeded 100.

That raised mainland China’s death toll to 1,016 with 42,638 confirmed cases. Most are in the central province of Hubei, where the virus emerged in December.

China extended its Lunar New Year holiday to discourage travel and keep factories and offices closed in a bid to contain the disease.

Businesses are gradually reopening. The government has promised low-interest loans and tax cuts but airlines and other industries face potentially huge losses.

The impact abroad is spreading. Tech companies are pulling out of a major European wireless technology show due to virus fears and carmakers are seeing supply shortages for production.

“The cause for unbridled relief (much less optimism) is illusory,” Vishnu Varathan of Mizuho Bank said in a report.

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude gained 87 cents to $50.44 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract lost 75 cents on Monday. Brent crude oil, the international standard, rose $1.08 to $54.35. It dropped $1.20 the previous session.

CURRENCY: The dollar advanced to 109.85 yen from Monday’s 109.70 yen. The euro was unchanged at $1.0914.