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Global Stocks Make Gains Thursday      04/02 05:53

   Major global stock markets and U.S. futures rose Thursday following a rocky 
start to the day after a White House warning that as many as 240,000 Americans 
might die of the coronavirus sent Wall Street tumbling.

   BEIJING (AP) -- Major global stock markets and U.S. futures rose Thursday 
following a rocky start to the day after a White House warning that as many as 
240,000 Americans might die of the coronavirus sent Wall Street tumbling.

   London and Frankfurt opened higher. Shanghai gained 1.7%, Seoul added 2.3% 
and Hong Kong also rose after spending the day swinging between gains and 
losses. Tokyo sank 1.4% and Sydney also declined.

   The White House said 100,000 to 240,000 Americans might die of the virus 
even if the country avoids shopping and other public activities through April. 
That added to anxiety among investors who are trying to figure out how long and 
deep this history-making global economic downturn might be.

   "Fear, fear and more fear descended upon the market," said Jingyi Pan of IG 
in a report.

   Traders say markets will be turbulent until numbers of new cases decline, 
but Pan said that "still looks to be a distance away."

   In early trading, the FTSE 100 in London gained 0.8% to 5,498.95 and 
Frankfurt's DAX added 0.2% to 9,568.67. The CAC 40 in France advanced 0.5% to 
4,225.89.

   On Wall Street, futures for the benchmark S&P 500 Index and Dow Jones 
Industrial Average were up 2.1%.

   On Wednesday, the S&P 500 lost 114.09 points to 2,470.50. The index is 
coming off its worst quarter since 2008 with a 20% loss.

   The Dow lost 4.4% to 20,943.51. The Nasdaq composite fell 4.4% to 7,360.58. 

   In Asia, the Shanghai Composite Index gained to 2,780.64 and Hong Kong's 
Hang Seng added 0.8% to 23,280.06. Tokyo's Nikkei 225 declined to 17,818.72.

   The Kospi in Seoul advanced to 1,724.86 while Sydney's S&P-ASX 200 slipped 
2% to 5,154.30.

   New Zealand retreated while Singapore, Bangkok and Jakarta rebounded from 
early losses to close higher.

   The hardest-hit U.S. stocks included banks, utilities and other dividend 
payers. 

   Department store icon Macy's has lost 74% in 2020. So much of its stock 
value has vanished that it was removed from S&P 500 index of big U.S. 
companies, effective Monday. It is being moved to the small-stock index.

   U.S. investors were rattled by mounting evidence of the virus's impact on 
major companies and the economy as a whole.

   Economists expect the next batch of U.S. jobless claims, due to be reported 
Thursday, to blow past last week's total of nearly 3.3 million initial claims. 
That was quintuple the prior record.

   "The number of unemployed is set to surge and 1H growth will be heavily 
affected," said Mizuho Bank in a report.

   The number of infections is rising despite anti-disease controls that have 
shut down much of the global economy.

   There are more than 911,000 confirmed cases worldwide, led by the United 
States with more than 206,000, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University.

   For most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as 
fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some, especially older 
adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe 
illness, including pneumonia, and death.

   The U.S. Congress last week agreed on a $2.2 trillion economic aid package 
and the Federal Reserve promised to buy as many Treasurys as needed to keep 
credit markets running smoothly.

   Legislators are collecting ideas for a possible new round of aid. President 
Donald Trump tweeted his support for a $2 trillion infrastructure package. But 
top Republicans in Congress say they first want to see how well their newly 
approved programs do.

   In energy markets, benchmark U.S. crude gained $1.47 to $21.77 per barrel in 
electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, used to 
price international oils, rose $1.97 to $26.71 per barrel in London.

   The dollar gained to 107.26 yen from Wednesday's 107.15 yen. The euro 
declined to $1.0921 from $1.0965. 


(CZ)

 
 
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