Global stocks follow Wall Street higher on vaccine hopes

BEIJING (AP) — Global stock markets and Wall Street futures rose Thursday as hopes for development of a coronavirus vaccine competed with concerns about rising U.S. infections.

London and Frankfurt opened higher. Shanghai, Tokyo, Hong Kong and Australia also advanced.

Investors were encouraged after Pfizer and BioNtech announced preliminary data from a vaccine test, one of a series being carried out by global developers.

At the same time, the populous American states of California and Texas reported daily record highs in new cases.

“Vaccine hopes, while welcome, fall short of guaranteeing a V-shaped recovery,” Mizuho Bank said in a report.

In early trading, the FTSE 100 in London rose 0.9% to 6,213.01 and Frankfurt’s DAX gained 1.8% to 12,486.31. The CAC 40 in Paris advanced 1.4% to 4,998.16.

On Wall Street, the future for the benchmark Standard & Poor’s 500 index was up 0.7% and that for the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 1%.

On Wednesday, the S&P 500 rose 0.5%, boosted by gains for technology companies. The Dow lost 0.3% while the Nasdaq composite climbed 1%.

In Asia, the Shanghai Composite Index rose 2.1% to 3,090.57 and the Nikkei 225 in Tokyo added 0.1% to 22,145.96. The Hang Seng in Hong Kong gained 2.8% to 25,124.19.

Seoul’s Kospi advanced 1.4% to 2,135.37 while the S&P-ASX 200 in Sydney gained 1.7% to 6,032.70. India’s Sensex added 1.6% to 35,966.50. New Zealand, Singapore and Jakarta also rose.

Stock markets around the world roared back last quarter on hopes economies are pulling out of their deepest slump since the 1930s. Analysts warn, however, that prices might be rising too far and too fast to be supported by economic activity when infections are rising in the United States, Brazil and some other countries.

In the United States, a report on manufacturing showed activity returned to growth in June, a much better reading than the contraction economists expected.

Earlier, a separate report suggested private employers hired more workers than they cut in June.

“It is still a guessing game as to how the COVID-19 lingering impact will sustain,” Jingyi Pan of IG said in a report.

In China, two surveys this week showed manufacturing improved in June, adding to signs of a gradual recovery.

A similar survey for the 19-country eurozone showed manufacturing almost growing again after widespread shutdowns.

Analysts said that while the data pointed in the right direction, they show that an economic recovery from the pandemic will be slow.

In energy markets, benchmark U.S. crude gained 34 cents to $40.16 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract rose 55 cents to settle at $39.82 on Wednesday. Brent crude, the international price standard, gained 36 cents to $42.39 per barrel in London. The contract rose 76 cents the previous session to $42.03 a barrel.

The dollar declined to 107.36 yen from Wednesday’s 107.49 yen. The euro rose to $1.1301 from $1.1244.

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