Global stock markets follow Wall Street higher

Business

A man looks at an electronic stock board showing Japan’s Nikkei 225 index at a securities firm in Tokyo Monday, Aug. 24, 2020. Asian stock markets rose Monday after Wall Street hit a new high despite lingering unease about a possible second wave of coronavirus infections. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)

BEIJING (AP) — Global stock markets and U.S. futures rose Monday after Wall Street hit a new high despite the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Benchmarks in London, Frankfurt, Shanghai and Tokyo advanced.

Markets have recovered most of this year’s losses despite a rise in numbers in the United States, Brazil and some other countries.

Wall Street’s benchmark S&P 500 index ended last week up 0.7%, though the majority of stocks in the index declined. The gain was driven by the strength of technology stocks.

Forecasters say the recovery might be too early and strong to be sustained by uncertain economic activity. Market benchmarks have been lifted by the outperformance of big companies, while smaller stocks still are down.

The global economy “offers few reasons to be upbeat,” Mizuho Bank said in a report.

If a “second wave” of infections hits, renewed curbs on business and travel “could hamper the trajectory of economic recovery,” the bank said.

In early trading, the FTSE 100 in London gained 1.5% to 6,090.22 while Frankfurt’s DAX added 1.6% to 12,965.32. The CAC 40 in Paris advanced 1.7% to 4,977.89.

On Wall Street, futures for the S&P 500 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average were up 0.6%.

On Friday, the S&P rose 0.3% while the Dow climbed 0.7%. The Nasdaq composite added 0.4%.

In Asia, the Shanghai Composite Index rose 02.% to 3,385.64 and the Nikkei 225 in Tokyo added 0.3% to 22,985.51. The Hang Seng in Hong Kong advanced 1.7% to 25.551.58.

The Kospi in Seoul was 1.1% higher at 2,329.83 and Australia’s S&P-ASX 200 gained 0.3% to 6,129.60.

India’s Sensex rose 0.7% to 38,789.68. New Zealand and Southeast Asian markets advanced.

Stocks have powered higher despite signs economic growth in the United States and Europe might be weakening.

Investors have been encouraged by central bank efforts to support growth with infusions of credit. Many are trying to look beyond the end of the pandemic to pick companies that will emerge stronger. That has led many to pile into tech stocks.

In energy markets, benchmark U.S. crude added 26 cents to $42.60 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract fell 48 cents on Friday to settle at $42.34. Brent crude, the international standard, gained 30 cents to $44.65 per barrel in London. It lost 55 cents to $44.35 the previous session.

The dollar strengthened slightly to 105.82 yen from Friday’s 105.80 yen. The euro rose to $1.1817 from $1.1798.

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