UK Markets close in 4 hrs 32 mins

Stocks jump as global coronavirus case growth slows

Oscar Williams-Grut
Senior City Correspondent, Yahoo Finance UK
An aid workers from the Spanish NGO Open Arms carry out coronavirus detection tests on the elderly at a nursing home in Barcelona, Spain. (Santi Palacios/AP)

Stock surged around the world on Monday, as investors looked optimistically signs the COVID-19 pandemic could be peaking.

The FTSE 100 (^FTSE) closed up 3% in London, while the DAX (^GDAXI) ended 5.4% higher in Frankfurt and the CAC 40 (^FCHI) climbed 4.5% in Paris.

Stocks traded higher throughout the session but were buoyed by a strong start to the trading day in the US.

By the time European markets closed, the Dow (^DJI) was 5% higher, while the Nasdaq (^IXIC) and S&P 500 (^GSPC) were both up 4.9%.

Analysts pointed to the slowing growth of global COVID-19 cases and a deceleration in deaths linked to the novel coronavirus.

Global confirmed COVID-19 cases rose to 1.27 million over the weekend, according to John Hopkins University. However, the number of new cases recorded over the last 24 hours was the lowest in nearly three weeks, according to Deutsche Bank’s tracking project.

“With the spread of the virus appearing to slow down somewhat, at least in Europe and especially in Asia, risk appetite may improve slightly for the time being,” said Marc-André Fongern, head of foreign exchange spot and options at Fongern Global Forex.

Read more: Coronavirus: Pound rises with UK prime minister 'still in charge' in hospital

Investors also pointed to deceleration in the number of deaths due to COVID-19. Saturday marked the first day since 17 March that coronavirus deaths globally grew by less than 10%.

“Italy, Spain, France, and Germany have all seen declining numbers,” said Naeem Aslam, chief market analyst at Avatrade.

“Some optimism does exist in New York’s death numbers too, but it may be premature to comment on anything further because the infection rate is still on the rise in New York.”

Optimism came despite UK prime minister Boris Johnson being admitted to hospital over the weekend due to COVID-19. US President Donald Trump also warned on Sunday that his nation faces a “rough two weeks” ahead.

“The UK and the US are a couple of weeks behind, thanks mostly to the incompetence of their governments, so daily deaths will continue to increase, albeit at a slowing pace,” Ian Shepherdson, chief economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics, wrote in a note sent to clients on Monday.

“We expect the peaks to be about 2,000 and 3-to-3,500, respectively, both by mid-to-late April.”

Overnight in Asia, Japan’s Nikkei (^N225) closed up 4.2%, the Hong Kong Hang Seng (^HSI) was up 2.1%. while China’s Shanghai Composite (000001.SS) ended down 0.6%.