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Stocks rally after Chinese data boost to close worst quarter since 2008

Video Credit: Reuters Studio - Duration: 01:32s - Published
Stocks rally after Chinese data boost to close worst quarter since 2008

Stocks rally after Chinese data boost to close worst quarter since 2008

World stocks looked set to close their worst quarter since 2008 on a brighter note on Tuesday, as strong Chinese factory data held out hope for an economic revival even as much of the rest of the world shut down to fight the coronavirus.

Ciara Lee reports

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European defensive sectors led the way higher on Tuesday (March 31).

Stocks inched up as investors awaited further signs that the economy could weather the fallout from a near total global shutdown.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index was up nearly two percent in morning trade.

Real estate stocks, utilities and telecoms โ€” considered stable during heightened volatility โ€” added between 0.9% and 1.5%.

But the benchmark index was set to end its worst quarter in 18 years.

The rout has erased more than $3 trillion from the value of European firms in just over a month.

It was a similar story for Asian shares on Tuesday.

They saw a small rally as factory data from China provided a glimmer of hope.

China's manufacturing PMI bounced to 52 in March, up from a record-low 35.7 in February.

But analysts cautioned the underlying activity probably remained well below par, particularly as the global crisis is showing no signs of abating.

Japan's Nikkei fell nearly a percent on fears that Tokyo could go into its first-ever lockdown.

But there were some positive signs out of hard-hit Italy.

Infections slowed a little, but the government still extended its lockdown to mid-April.

Oil prices steadied after hitting their lowest in almost 18 years on Monday (March 30) as lockdowns squeeze demand.

President Trump and Russia's Vladimir Putin agreed during a phone call on Monday to have their top energy officials meet to discuss slumping prices.




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Equity benchmark indices continued their upward momentum on Friday but the gains in IT and realty sectors were capped by PSU banks. At the closing bell, the BSE SandP Sensex was up by 178 points or 0.5 per cent at 36,021 while the Nifty 50 edged higher by 56 points or 0.53 per cent at 10,607. Sectoral indices at the National Stock Exchange were mixed with Nifty IT and realty gaining by 1 per cent each but PSU bank down by 0.9 per cent. Among stocks, Eicher Motors was up by 4.18 per cent at Rs 19,121 per share while Hero MotoCorp accelerated by 2.6 per cent, Bajaj Auto by 1.9 per cent and Tata Motors by 1.8 per cent. Adani Ports closed 4.1 per cent higher at Rs 361 per share. Tata Consultancy Services gained by 1.7 per cent while Bharti Airtel and Bharti Infratel were up by 4 per cent and 1.8 per cent respectively. Reliance Industries edged higher by 1.53 per cent to Rs 1,785.50 per share after Intel Corp said it will invest Rs 1,894 crore in Jio Platforms in exchange for a 0.39 per cent stake, the latest big-ticket investment in its digital unit. But metal stocks fell with JSW Steel and Tata Steel down by 1.7 per cent each and Hindalco by 1 per cent. IndusInd Bank, HDFC Bank, Bajaj Finance and Bajaj Finserv too traded with a negative bias. Meanwhile, Asian shares rallied to a four-month high on robust US payrolls data and a brisk pickup in Chinese service sector activity. Shanghai Composite closed 2.01 per cent higher. Japan's Nikkei rose by 0.72 per cent while Hong Kong's Hang Seng was up by 0.99 per cent.

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