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Markets

Stocks rally after Biden infrastructure boost

  • Oil prices rallied with the OPEC+ alliance expected to agree an extension to their current output cuts at a meeting later in the day.
01 Apr 2021

LONDON: Stock markets rose Thursday as investors weighed US President Joe Biden's economy-boosting infrastructure project against renewed Covid lockdowns.

Oil prices rallied with the OPEC+ alliance expected to agree an extension to their current output cuts at a meeting later in the day.

Shares in Deliveroo steadied one day after the app-driven meals delivery group lost more than a quarter of its value on its stock market launch in London.

Biden said his much-anticipated new package will see a "once-in-a-generation" investment of more than $2 trillion in transportation, telecoms and energy infrastructure while creating millions of jobs.

And while he warned his eight-year plan, which comes just months after the passage of a $1.9 trillion stimulus, will be paid for by higher taxes for corporations, analysts said markets likely considered that a concern for later this year or next.

"There is no doubt that these markets are addicted to stimulus, and any news which has stimulus inside it, is welcomed by market players with open arms," noted Naeem Aslam, chief market analyst at AvaTrade.

While there is growing concern that the fast recovery will fan inflation and force banks to tighten their ultra-loose monetary policies, observers remain confident that stocks will press higher this year.

The latest sign that the recovery is well on course came in data showing the US private sector created more than 500,000 jobs in March, almost three times as many as February, and the most in six months.

The reading raised hopes for the closely watched non-farm payrolls report on Friday, which is used as a key guide to the health of the world's top economy.

Some observers are suggesting the figure could come in above a million new jobs.

On the Covid front, the World Health Organization on Thursday slammed Europe's vaccine rollout as "unacceptably slow" as the region sees a "worrying" surge in coronavirus infections.

The organisation said the sluggish rollout was "prolonging the pandemic" and described Europe's virus situation as "more worrying than we have seen in several months."

It comes after French President Emmanuel Macron announced a limited nationwide lockdown to battle soaring Covid-19 cases, while Brazil feared further devastation was ahead after its deadliest month of the pandemic so far.

Key figures around 1030 GMT -

London - FTSE 100: UP 0.5 percent at 6,749.24 points

Paris - CAC 40: UP 0.2 percent at 6,078.69

Frankfurt - DAX 30: UP 0.2 percent at 15,040.60

EURO STOXX 50: UP 0.3 percent at 3,929.12

Tokyo - Nikkei 225: UP 0.7 percent at 29,388.87 (close)

Hong Kong - Hang Seng: UP 2.0 percent at 28,938.74 (close)

Shanghai - Composite: UP 0.7 percent at 3,466.33 (close)

New York - Dow: DOWN 0.3 percent at 32,981.55 (close)

Dollar/yen: UP at 110.80 yen from 110.71 yen at 2140 GMT

Euro/dollar: DOWN at $1.1724 from $1.1730

Pound/dollar: DOWN at $1.3773 from $1.3785

Euro/pound: UP at 85.28 pence from 85.06 pence

Brent North Sea crude: UP 1.8 percent at $63.85 per barrel

West Texas Intermediate: UP 2.0 percent at $60.33 per barrel