European stocks jumped with U.S. equity futures on Friday as a dramatic selloff spurred by concerns over a second wave of coronavirus infections and a slower-than-expected economic recovery eased. Treasuries and the dollar slipped.
The Stoxx Europe 600 Index turned sharply higher after opening in the red, with car makers and travel companies leading gains after driving losses on Thursday. Contracts on the three main U.S. equity benchmarks pointed to a positive open after Wall Street suffered its biggest drop in 12 weeks. Asian equities tumbled overnight.
WTI crude erased earlier declines in New York, trimming its first weekly loss in over a month. The pound advanced even after data showed the U.K. economy shrank a record 20.4 per cent in April.
A frantic stock rally that carried equity benchmarks well up from their March lows stumbled this week on pessimism about the speed of recovery following months of lockdown. The International Monetary Fund on Friday said the global economy will bear lingering scars from the pandemic. Still, investors appear bullish overall, betting that countries are on the mend despite setbacks and fears over a second wave of infections that could derail the recovery.
“We see some positive points — the worst is over, the economy is gradually re-opening — but we also see downside risks,” Janet Mui, investment director at Brewin Dolphin, told Bloomberg TV. “Overall we are adding a bit of equities now, primarily to the U.S. and emerging markets ex-Asia.”
These are some of the main moves in markets:
- Futures on the S&P 500 Index advanced 1.9% as of 10:30 a.m. London time.
- The Stoxx Europe 600 Index gained 1.2%.
- The MSCI Asia Pacific Index dipped 1.2%.
- The MSCI Emerging Market Index decreased 0.7%.
- West Texas Intermediate crude gained 0.7% to $36.58 a barrel.
- Brent crude gained 0.7% to $38.81 a barrel.
- Gold strengthened 0.5% to $1,735.81 an ounce.