The FTSE 100 index has opened higher this morning, taking its cue from positive performances from US and Asian markets as investors shrug off coronavirus fears, despite the death toll from the outbreak passing 1,000.
Britain’s blue-chip index climbed as much as 1.02 per cent after the open on Tuesday, following positive impetus from Monday’s trading session in New York as US equities flirted with new record highs.
Asian markets also put in a strong performance, with Chinese shares closing up for a sixth straight session on Tuesday as a fall in new coronavirus cases boosted investor sentiment.
The Shanghai Composite index ended the day 0.4 per cent higher, while the blue-chip CSI300 index gained 0.9 per cent.
Elsewhere in the region, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng ended the session 1.24 per cent up, while Japan’s Nikkei 225 slipped 0.60 per cent into the red.
MSCI’s broadest index of Asian shares excluding Japan gained almost one per cent.
In Europe, the FTSE 100’s continental peers also recorded solid rises, led by Germany’s Dax, which added 0.94 per cent. France’s CAC 40 index gained 0.63 per cent.
Traders in London are awaiting the latest UK GDP figures for December, which are due to be released at 9.30am.
“European stocks rallied thanks to a strong prevailing tailwind from the US last night that carried into the Asian session,” said Markets.com analyst Neil Wilson.
On the coronavirus, Wilson added that “following the selling since the virus hit the headlines it’s now about the pace of acceleration or deceleration in the rate of new cases, as well as the longevity of the economic impact.”
“Investors are betting any hit to growth will be temporary, and if it’s not stimulus is a-coming.”