• US stock lack direction
• US Jobless claims surged by 5.2 million last week
Most of the major European indices rebounded today, amid hopes that most affected countries might already reached a peak of the coronavirus pandemic. Yesterday German Chancellor Angela Merkel announced plans to gradually ease the coronavirus lockdown next week, though social distancing rules will remain in place through at least May 3rd. In addition, the number of new deaths caused by the coroavirus in Italy eased. On the other hand Britain's government announced extension of the country's lockdown for a further three weeks, aimed at curbing the rapid spread of the pandemic. Today DAX 30 gained 0.5% , FTSE 100 advanced 0.8%; the CAC 40 gained 0.2%; the FTSE MIB rose 0.7%; while the IBEX 35 lost 0.7%.
US indices are trading mixed on Thursday as investors digest latest economic data: building permits came in at a better-than-expected 1.353 million while housing starts fell faster than anticipated to 1.216 million and initial jobless claims came slightly higher than forecasts at 5.245 million. This means that over the last 4 weeks we have initially approx. 20 million new unemployed. Today both Morgan Stanley and Blackrock posted their quarterly earnings which came below expectations while those for Bank Of New York Mellon and Abbott beat estimates. President Trump is expected to deliver some national guidelines for reopening the economy during the day. Dow Jones lost 0.75%, S&P500 declined 0.7% and NASDAQ rose 0.68%. Another gains from Amazon (AMZN.US) and Advanced Micro Devices (AMD.US) helped the tech sector.
Oil prices erased part of the earlier gains in another volatile session after OPEC announced in its latest monthly report that now expects global demand to shrink by 6.9% in 2020. Earlier this session, oil prices jumped around 2% as inwestors were hoping that major oil producers could cut production even more after a record increase in US inventories. The WTI crude oil is trading slightly below $20 per barrel and the Brent traded around $27.34 per barrel.
Gold pares some gains and is trading around the $1,710 mark (spot price). Gold mining giant Newmont Goldcorp (NEM.US) went up another 2%, reaching eight-year high after saying that gold could hit $2,000 an ounce as a result of government efforts to support the world economy. The dollar index strengthened for the second straight session to 100.20.
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