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Asian Shares Rebound Monday            04/06 05:51

   Asian shares and U.S. futures rebounded on Monday as investors grasped at 
threads of hope that the battle against the coronavirus pandemic may be making 
some progress in some hard-hit areas.

   BANGKOK (AP) -- Asian shares and U.S. futures rebounded on Monday as 
investors grasped at threads of hope that the battle against the coronavirus 
pandemic may be making some progress in some hard-hit areas.

   Markets in Tokyo and Sydney gained more than 4% on Monday and Hong Kong 
climbed 2.3%. New York futures were more than 4% higher.

   The gains followed another Friday session of losses after the U.S. said 
employers cut 701,000 more jobs than they added last month, the first drop in 
nearly a decade. Investors fled the market ahead of the weekend.

   Oil prices fell back after a meeting between OPEC and Russia reportedly was 
delayed until April 9.

   Reports have shown the number of people dying appears to be slowing in New 
York City, Spain and Italy. The news was cautiously welcomed by leaders, who 
also noted that any gains could easily be reversed if people did not continue 
to adhere to strict lockdowns.

   "Hundreds of people are passing away each day from the pandemic, but less so 
than previous days, giving markets hope that the lockdown measures are finally 
starting to prove effective," Jeffrey Halley of Oanda said in a commentary.

   "Like the rest of the world, financial markets are searching for any slivers 
of hope," he said.

   The situation has deteriorated in other areas as rates of infections have 
surged.

   The Nikkei 225 index jumped 4.2% to 18,576.30 on reports Japan's prime 
minister, Shinzo Abe, plans to announce a state of emergency on Tuesday, 
seeking to further curb public activity and contain the outbreak.

   Hong Kong's Hang Seng rose 2.3% to 23,758.32. South Korea's Kospi added 3.6% 
to 1,787.02, while the S&P/ASX 200 in Sydney advanced 3.6% to 5,302.20. Shares 
also rose in Taiwan and Southeast Asia.

   Shanghai's market was closed for a public holiday. 

   New York's first reaction to Friday's appalling U.S. jobs report was to take 
it in stride. But Wall Street slid throughout the day as investors braced for 
more bad news.

   The losses accelerated after New York's governor announced the biggest daily 
jump yet for deaths caused by the coronavirus in the country's hardest-hit 
state.

   The S&P 500 fell 1.5% to 2,488.65. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 
1.7% to 21,052.53, and the Nasdaq shed 1.5%, to 7,373.08. Small-company stocks 
fell far more than the rest of the market. The Russell 2000 index gave up 3.1%, 
to 1,052.05.

   The S&P 500 is down 26.5% since its record set in February, reflecting the 
growing assumption that the economy is sliding into a sudden, extremely sharp 
recession.

   Traders are bracing for further potential doses of bad news: Potentially 
scary events on the calendar include Thursday's weekly report on applications 
for unemployment benefits, which has been the closest thing to a real-time 
measure of how ferociously layoffs have swept the country. Companies will also 
soon begin reporting their profits for the first three months of the year, with 
reporting season beginning in earnest in two weeks.

   Friday's jobs report likely didn't fully capture the extent of the recent 
job losses, which have been accelerating by the day, because it collected data 
from before stay-at-home orders were widespread.

   The panic selling that dominated the first few weeks of the sell-off has 
eased a bit since Washington unleashed massive amounts of aid to help markets 
and the economy. The Federal Reserve has promised to buy as many Treasury 
securities as it takes to keep lending markets running smoothly, and Congress 
approved a $2.2 trillion rescue plan for the economy.

   But only a peak in the number of new coronavirus cases could lend some 
clarity on how deep and protracted the economic downturn will be.

   The United States has more than 377,000 confirmed cases of the virus, 
leading the worldwide tally of more than 1.27 million compiled by Johns Hopkins 
University.

   For most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as 
fever and cough. But for others, especially older adults and people with health 
problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia, and death.

   More than 69,000 people have died, but over 260,000 have recovered. 

   Energy markets have recovered somewhat on expectations that Saudi Arabia and 
Russia might tone down their price war. However, benchmark U.S. crude was lower 
on Monday, falling 57 cents to $27.77 per barrel in electronic trading on the 
New York Mercantile Exchange. On Friday, it climbed 11.9% to $28.34 per barrel, 
adding on to its nearly 25% surge the day before.

   Brent crude, the international standard, gave up 41 cents to $33.70 per 
barrel. It rose $4.17 on Friday to $34.11 a barrel.

   The world is awash in oil as demand for energy collapses, and President 
Donald Trump said Thursday that the rivals may be close to cutting back on 
production to prop up oil's price.

   In currency trading, the dollar rose to 109.09 Japanese yen from 108.48 yen 
on Friday. The euro edged higher, to $1.0826 from $1.0812. 


(CZ)

 
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