U.S. Stock Futures Rise as Virus Deaths Ease: Markets Wrap

U.S. stocks futures advanced after the daily reported death toll in some of the world’s coronavirus epicenters was lower on Sunday. Oil tumbled.

The latest fatality figures provided some respite to the onslaught of recent negative virus headlines, though the economic impact will continue to bite for some time. S&P 500 futures opened more than 1% higher, and contracts in Japan also climbed. The pound dipped as U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson was admitted to hospital for tests after suffering from the coronavirus for 10 days. Oil sank as uncertainty remains over a proposed meeting of supplier nations that is planned for April 9.

In the latest developments on the health crisis: New York State fatalities fell for the first time, though President Donald Trump warned that the fallout from the coronavirus is about to get a lot worse, and a “very horrendous” phase in the pandemic is approaching. Italy had the fewest deaths in more than two weeks, while France reported the lowest number in five days and Spain’s tally fell for three days in a row.

“There is light at the end of the tunnel but it’s still a long tunnel,” Erik Nielsen, UniCredit SpA’s London-based chief economist, wrote in a note Sunday.

33,264 in U.S.Most new cases today

-26% Change in MSCI World Index of global stocks since Wuhan lockdown, Jan. 23

-1.​138 Change in U.S. treasury bond yield since Wuhan lockdown, Jan. 23


Stocks ended down last week, paring some of the prior week’s rally, after a plunge in U.S. hiring hinted at the extent of the pandemic’s toll on the world’s biggest economy. Meantime, oil pared some of the rally seen on Friday in the wake of hopes of production cuts. Saudi Arabia, Russia and other large oil producers are racing to negotiate a deal to stem the historic price crash as diplomats said some progress was made on Sunday.

These are the main moves in markets:

Stocks

  • Futures on the S&P 500 rose 1.1% as of 7:02 a.m. in Tokyo. The S&P 500 fell 1.5% on Friday.
  • Futures on Japan’s Nikkei 225 added 1.3% in early trading.
  • Hang Seng Index futures fell 0.5% on Friday, when futures on Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index climbed 0.9%.

Currencies

  • The yen added 0.1% to 108.44 per dollar.
  • The euro bought $1.0818, up 0.2%.
  • The offshore yuan was flat at 7.1124 per dollar.
  • The pound slid 0.3% to $1.2233.

Bonds

  • The yield on 10-year Treasuries remained around 0.60% on Friday.

Commodities

  • West Texas crude dropped 8.5% to $25.85 a barrel.
  • Gold was down 0.4% to $1,615.69 an ounce.

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