Friday 5 June 2020 7:24 am

Asian stocks climb as equities head for weekly gain

Asian stocks climbed overnight and US and European futures advanced as economic stimulus and the reopening of economies put global equities on track for another week of gains.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 climbed 0.7 per cent and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng rose 0.6 per cent. China’s SSE composite index was 0.2 per cent higher.

Read more: ECB beefs up bond-buying to €1.35 trillion to boost Eurozone economy

European stocks were set to open higher, according to futures prices. The same was true for US stocks.

Investors around the world have been buoyed by countries’ moves to lift their coronavirus lockdowns. Analysts think it will lead to an uptick in demand that will help the world’s biggest firms.

Stocks have also been boosted by record amounts of stimulus from central banks. Yesterday, the European Central Bank (ECB) continued the trend when it added €600bn (£540bn) to its bond-buying programme, taking it to a whopping €1.35 trillion.

Oil prices rose marginally this morning on hopes of a return of demand. Brent crude climbed 0.8 per cent to $40.30 per barrel. WTI crude, the US benchmark, climbed 0.5 per cent to $37.60 per barrel.

The dollar slipped 0.2 per cent on an index against other currencies. Investors have rotated out of the greenback – seen as an ultra-safe asset – in favour of stocks this week.

Investors await the latest official US jobs figures. They are expected to show that unemployment has risen to just under 20 per cent, a figure not seen since the 1930s.

“Today, attention will turn to the US jobs report for May, where we are once again expecting some historic milestones to be reached, albeit not in a good way,” said Jim Reid of Deutsche Bank.

Read more: Astrazeneca reaches global agreements to produce 2bn coronavirus vaccine doses

US-China tensions eased somewhat yesterday, US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said he feels “very good” about the phase one trade deal with China.

Investors fear another trade spat between the two countries could derail any global economic recovery from coronavirus.

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