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U.S. stocks close higher as investor hopes offset trade, pandemic concerns

U.S. stocks close higher as investor hopes offset trade, pandemic concerns
Trump blamed China for the coronavirus outbreak and revived trade war fears as he threatened to "cut off the whole relationship" with China on Thursday in an interview with FOX Business.
May 15, 2020 Tags: Stocks for Breakfast

ASX futures trade 45 points higher after Wall Street rebounded overnight as investors weighed the prospect of economic recovery against remarks from US President Donald Trump over the U.S.-China trade relationship.

Trump blamed China for the coronavirus outbreak and revived trade war fears as he threatened to "cut off the whole relationship" with China on Thursday in an interview with FOX Business.

According to Refinitiv data US first-quarter earnings season is on the final stretch, with 451 of the companies in the S&P 500 having reported earnings for the first three months of the year are seen falling by 12.1% from the year-ago quarter, a stark reversal from the 6.3% annual growth seen on Jan. 1.

As mandated lockdowns continue to damage the global economy, investors remain somewhat uncertain on the future of trade. The Volatility Index, known as the VIX, eased overnight after rising for most of the week and U.S. stocks finished in the black.

While all three major U.S. stock indexes ended the session solidly higher, they see-sawed for much of the day. The Dow Jones rose 1.6%, the Nasdaq added 0.9% and the S&P 500 advanced 1.2% after all three indices opened lower and recovered throughout the day.

European stocks fall, Asian futures mostly higher

European equities ended the day deep in the red despite a partial recovery in the final hour of trading. The German Dax fell nearly 2% in Frankfurt, while the FTSE 100 shed 2.8% in London. The pan-European STOXX Europe 600 fell 2.2%.

The ASX fell on Thursday with the benchmark index ASX 200 closing down 1.7% to 5,328.7 points. The Small Ordinaries dipped 1.5% as small-mid caps fared marginally better.

The big banks and miners fell sharply. The national jobless rate rose one percentage point to 6.2 per cent in April as 600,000 jobs were lost.

In commodities, Brent Crude oil rose over 7% in overnight trade to be last traded at US$31.40 per Barrel. Gold prices traded firmly higher at ~US$1,730 per ounce.

Bitcoin closed in on US$10,000, up over 5% to be last quoted at ~US$9,700.

ASX futures contracts for June trade 45 points higher this morning and it will be interesting to see if Australian stocks will be able to rally into the weekend or if investor caution prevails.

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ASX futures drop 20 points as Wall Street fades

MSCI’s gauge of world stocks lifted overnight despite a late sell-off on Wall Street as investors decided to take risk off the table ahead of a news conference of US President Donald Trump on Friday about China.

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