Wednesday, 1 April 2020

Markets mixed as global COVID-19 deaths continue to rise

Markets were mixed on Tuesday.

The S&P 500 fell 1.6 percent but the STOXX Europe 600 rose 1.7 percent.

Earlier in Asia, the Nikkei 225 fell 0.9 percent but the Shanghai Composite rose 0.1 percent.

Some relief for investors came from data from China showing that its official manufacturing PMI rose to 52.0 in March from 35.7 in February and its services PMI rose to 52.3 from 29.6.

However, economists at ANZ said that the “outlook for Q2 continues to be concerning due to an acute drop in external demand and lacklustre domestic demand”.

Simona Gambarini, markets economist at Capital Economics, said that a sustained recovery in stock prices “probably won’t happen until there is evidence that the pandemic is being contained at a global level”.

That appears to be unlikely soon. The global COVID-19 pandemic has continued to exact a heavy toll around the world, with both Italy and Spain reporting more than 800 deaths from the disease on Tuesday and French and US death tolls surpassing China's death toll.

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