Global shares rise as more economies reopen for business

Jun 2, 2020

Global shares are up on optimism about moves to reopen economies from shutdowns to contain the coronavirus pandemic

TOKYO (AP) — Global stock markets rose Tuesday as more economies reopened for business after long and painful shutdowns to contain the coronavirus pandemic.

While the social unrest in the U.S. continued to provide a gloomy backdrop, international investors remained focus on the prospects for global economic growth. More countries and sectors are reopening, though activity is expected to remain subdued as social distancing rules complicate plans to get back to business.

Futures for the Dow and the S&P 500 indexes on Wall Street were up 0.6% and 0.5%, respectively.

In Europe, France's CAC 40 jumped 2.1% to 4,863 as the country opened restaurants, cafes, parks and beaches and launched a contract tracing app to help keep tabs on new contagions. Germany's DAX, which had been closed Monday, caught up with previous global markets' gains and surged 3.9% to 12,033. Britain's FTSE 100 added 1% to 6,2130.

Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 rose 1.2% to finish at 22,325.61, and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng gained 0.8% to 23,912.07. South Korea’s Kospi added 1.1% to 2,087.42. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 rose nearly 0.3% to 5,835.10, while the Shanghai Composite edged up 0.1% to 2,918.94.

In Southeast Asia, where shutdowns are beginning to ease, Indonesia's benchmark jumped nearly 2.0% and Singapore's surged 2.3%.

Despite the bright mood across, fears persist about a possible resurgence in coronavirus outbreaks in some countries.

There were 34 new confirmed cases in Tokyo on Tuesday, seeming to reaffirm growing risks as people begin to mingle more in crowded commuter trains with the reopenings of more offices, schools, restaurants and stores. The daily numbers had dropped below 20 recently.

Critics had said Japan's relaxation of its pandemic precautions was premature, and Japanese media reported that Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike plans to announce a “Tokyo Alert" requesting residents of the capital to try harder at social distancing.

Despite such concerns and the widespread unrest erupting in many U.S. cities, hopes for a quick recovery from the worst global downturn since the 1930s have spurred recent rallies.

The protests that have rocked American cities for days have so far not had much impact on financial markets. But the violence and damage to property may hinder the re-opening of the economy. Crowds gathering to protest injustice and racism also could touch off more outbreaks.

But Robert Carnell, regional head of research for the Asia-Pacific region at ING, warned against too much optimism.

“How long can markets remain buoyant?” he asked. “The honest answer, and one that may save you five minutes is, ‘I don’t know.’ ”

This week will provide market watchers more insight on the impact that the coronavirus is having on U.S. workers and employers. Payroll processor ADP issues its May survey of hiring by private U.S. companies on Wednesday. The next day, the government releases its weekly tally of applications for unemployment aid.

On Friday, the government reports its May labor market data. Analysts surveyed by FactSet expect the report will show the economy lost 9 million jobs last month.

On Thursday, the European Central Bank is expected to provide more stimulus for the economy of the 19-country eurozone as more countries fall into a deep recession.

In other trading, benchmark U.S. crude oil added 81 cents to $36.25 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It fell 5 cents to $35.44 a barrel on Monday. Brent crude oil, the international standard, gained 89 cents to $39.21 a barrel.

The dollar rose to 107.83 Japanese yen from 107.58 yen. The euro climbed to $1.1161 from $1.1136.

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