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Autopsy finds police suffocated black man as Trump threatens to deploy military            COVID-19 Cases Exceed 16,000 in Afghanistan             Ghani, Pompeo discuss next steps in Afghan peace process            Khalilzad íOptimisticí About Start of Intra-Afghan Negotiations             Afghanistan Faces COVID-19 ĎHumanitarian Disasterí: IRC            US must be prosecuted at intl. courts for human rights abuses: Iranís Judiciary chief            Hong Kongís leader slams Ďdouble standardsí on national security, cites US unrest             Protests against US police killing of George Floyd go global            Israeli, American officials talk annexation bid amid reports of US intention to slow process            Factbox: UN aid programs in Yemen at risk of going broke            FM Zarif: Iranian scientist on his way back home after release from US jail             Worldís coronavirus cases at 6.27mn, life returning to normal in many countries            UK government eases COVID-19 lockdown restrictions             Trump lags in polls as US anti-racism protests spread            Fifth Iranian tanker carrying fuel sails into Venezuelaís territorial waters            


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Global stocks gain on hopes pandemic is reaching peak


The German share price index DAX graph is pictured at the stock exchange in Frankfurt, Germany, April 8, 2020. (Reuters photo)

Global shares rose on Thursday on hopes the COVID-19 pandemic was nearing a peak and that governments would roll out more stimulus to support their economies, while expectations of a deal to cut oil production bolstered crude prices.

European stock markets gained for a fourth straight day, with investor attention also focused on a meeting of European Union finance ministers to discuss an economic rescue package.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index was up 1.7%, with battered travel and leisure stocks, autos, and mining companies leading early gains.

MSCIís All-Country World Index, which tracks shares across 49 countries, was up 0.5% to its highest since March 12.

US stock futures were up 1% after bouncing in and out of positive territory in Asia.

In Asia, MSCIís broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was up 1.56%, following a strong Wall Street close.

Shares in China, where the novel coronavirus first emerged late last year, rose 0.42%. Australian shares were up 2.54%.

"Sentiment remains volatile, but investors appear to be looking through the growing headline numbers of COVID-19 cases and focusing on signs that the spread of the pandemic is being brought under control, which in turn is underpinning hopes for a relatively swift relaxation of containment measures," said Mark Haefele, chief investment officer at UBS Global Wealth Management.

Oil prices extended gains on hopes major producers would agree to cut output when they met later in the day in response to a collapse in global oil demand.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said the stateís efforts at social distancing were working in getting the virus under control in one of the biggest hot spots in the United States.

US President Donald Trump said he would like to reopen the US economy with a "big bang" but that the death toll from the coronavirus first needs to be heading down.

The S&P 500 gained 3.41% on Wednesday, helped by hopes the pandemic was nearing its peak.

The Trump administration has asked lawmakers for an additional $250 billion in aid for small US businesses. However, congressional efforts were stalling as Democrats held out for similar amounts of aid for hospitals and local governments.

While Trumpís optimism helped stoke Wall Streetís rally, recent US data and forecasts are only now beginning to reflect the economic damage.

McDonaldís Corp said global comparable sales tumbled 22.2% in March, while Starbucks Corp forecast a 47% drop in second-quarter earnings.

Japanís Nikkei stock index bucked the regional trend and fell 0.46% as coronavirus infections in the country rose. Markets were also jittery following the governmentís declaration of a state of emergency for Tokyo and other urban areas.

The coronavirus has spread rapidly across the globe, infecting more than 1.4 million people and causing more than 87,500 deaths, according to a Reuters tally.

Wuhan, the Chinese city where the new virus emerged late last year, ended its more-than two-month lockdown on Wednesday, but many governments around the world remain nervous about the pace of infections and deaths.

The euro gained against the dollar and the pound on hopes euro zone finance ministers would agree on more support for their coronavirus-hit economies.

The pandemic is still infecting and killing large numbers of people across Europe and there is no sign the peak of the regionís outbreak has been reached, the EUís disease monitoring agency said.

Sterling held onto gains versus the dollar. Helping confidence was news British Prime Minister Boris Johnsonís condition was improving. Johnson, who was diagnosed with COVID-19 late in March, was taken to intensive care two days ago after his condition deteriorated.

Against a basket of its peers, the dollar fell 0.1%.

US crude rose 5.3% to $26.42 a barrel. Brent crude rose 3% to $33.83 per barrel.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies, including Russia - a group known as OPEC+ - are set to convene a video conference meeting on Thursday.

Hopes of an agreement to cut 10 million to 15 million barrels per day rose after media reports suggested Russia was ready to reduce its output by 1.6 million bpd.

 


(Source: Reuters)

 

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