Global stocks grind higher on growth hopes, oil ebbs on COVID-19 fears
Global stocks ground higher while oil ebbed on Thursday as markets haggled over whether to bet on economic recovery in the United States and other developed markets or worry about a surge in COVID-19 cases in countries including India.
The push-pull of that trading dynamic comes as vaccination rates in Britain and other countries continue to improve and pandemic-weary citizens embrace more freedoms to drive economic growth, something reflected in some recent corporate earnings.
After a recent mini sell-off, MSCI’s broadest gauge of stocks across the globe (.MIWD00000PUS) was up 0.3% in early European trade to trade back within 1% of its all-time closing high.
Europe’s top indexes also all opened higher ahead of the latest meeting of the European Central Bank, with the broad STOXX Europe 600 (.STOXX) up 0.5%, bolstered by upbeat earnings from Nestle (NESN.S) and Volvo (VOLVb.ST).
“The European Central Bank isn’t expected to ruffle any feathers this Thursday, with analysts predicting that it will be another steady session from Christine Lagarde and Co.,” said Connor Campbell, financial analyst at Spreadex.
“But with a while until the next meeting – the central bank skips May – the ECB could use this opportunity to sharpen its forward guidance. There are also hawks lurking among the doves, meaning the get-together may not go as smoothly as forecast.”
U.S. stock futures pointed to a flat open on Wall Street.
Despite stocks being generally upbeat, oil – another asset geared to perceptions of economic growth – fell after a resurgence of COVID-19 cases in India and Japan, and a recent surprise stock build in the United States, weighed on sentiment…..read more