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Stocks - Europe Continues Higher Amid Fresh U.S. Stimulus Hopes

By Peter Nurse 

Investing.com - European stock markets are set to open positively Wednesday, continuing Tuesday’s sharp ride higher, on the expectation that U.S. policymakers will finally deliver a massive rescue package to bolster the country’s beleaguered economy.

At 3:20 ET (0720 GMT), the DAX futures contract in Germany traded 1.9% higher. {{167|France's CAC 40 futures were up 1.6%, while the FTSE 100 futures contract in the U.K. rose 2.1%. 

Senior Democrats and Republicans in the divided U.S. Congress said late Tuesday they were close to a deal on a $2 trillion stimulus package to limit the economic damage from the coronavirus pandemic. While it was unclear when they would be ready to vote on a bill, hope has been growing that it could be passed as early as later Wednesday.

This resulted in the Dow racking up its biggest one-day point gain, jumping 11.4%, or 2,1113 points. That was the largest percentage gain for the blue-chip index since 1933. The S&P 500 gained 9.4% and the Nasdaq Composite added 8.1%.

The gains were also impressive in Europe, with the DAX index closing over 11% higher, theCAC 40 up 8.4% and the FTSE 100 up 9.4%.

The necessity of further measures to bolster the world’s largest economy, which is still seen as the engine of the globe’s economy, was laid bare by a Kantar survey published Wednesday.

The survey showed that 70% of people in the G7 countries - Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States - expect their households to lose income due to the coronavirus outbreak.

In corporate news, Credit Suisse (SIX:CSGN) said Wednesday that its profitability has continued to improve so far in the first quarter of 2020 despite the coronavirus pandemic, but the outbreak will likely hit the bank’s results for the year. 

Also in the spotlight, utility E.ON (DE:EONGn) said that net profit fell in 2019 and it had issued a new dividend policy through fiscal 2022.

Looking at economic data, the final German IFO business survey for March is due at 5:00 AM ET (0900 GMT). The preliminary reading last week showed a big decline, to 87.7 from 96.0, and the revised number could very well show a further drop as the coronavirus outbreak continues to hit corporate confidence.

Oil has continued its recent rally Wednesday, helped by the idea of a fiscal aid package in the U.S. Adding to the positive news was the American Petroleum Institute reporting a drop in the U.S. crude oil supply late Tuesday.

That said, the more widely followed EIA weekly report will be released at 10:30 AM ET, and expectations are that this will report a build of almost 3 million barrels of crude oil stocks.

At 3:20 AM ET, U.S. crude futures traded 3.0% higher at $24.73 a barrel. The international benchmark Brent contract rose 2.0% to $27.68.

Elsewhere, gold futures rose 0.4% to $1,667.85/oz, while EUR/USD traded at 1.0827, up 0.3% on the day.

 

 

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