Global stocks climbed on Thursday as traders cheered strong US employment data, reports of a potential vaccine for Wuhan coronavirus, and China’s decision to cut tariffs on American goods.
Chinese authorities plan to halve tariffs on $75 billion worth of US goods on February 14. They intend to cut duties from 10% to 5% on some products, and from 5% to 2.5% on others, as part of their commitment to boost purchases of American goods and services by $200 billion over two years.
News that human trials have begun for Gilead Sciences’ experimental vaccine for Wuhan coronavirus also buoyed stocks. The flu-like illness has infected more than 28,000 people, killed at least 563, and spread to more than a dozen countries including the US, UK, and India, stoking fears of a pandemic that could slow worldwide growth.
However, those worries may be fading.
“The economic threat of the coronavirus has probably been overblown,” Jasper Lawler, head of research at London Capital Group, said in a morning note.
“Soothing words and actions from global central banks and the World Health Organization saying there is no pandemic has juiced up markets enough to put coronavirus fears aside,” he added.
Here’s the market roundup as of 9:30 a.m. in London (4:30 a.m. in New York):
European indexes opened higher. Germany’s DAX rose 0.4%, Britain’s FTSE 100 rose 0.1%, and the Euro Stoxx 50 rose 0.4%.
US stocks are set to open higher. Futures underlying the Dow Jones Industrial Average, S&P 500, and Nasdaq were up 0.2% to 0.4%.
Asian indexes closed higher. China’s Shanghai Composite rose 1.7%, Japan’s Nikkei rose 2.4%, and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng rose 2.4%.
Oil prices jumped with West Texas Intermediate up 1.2% at $51.30 a barrel, and Brent crude up 0.6% at $55.60.