(Reuters) – Asian markets looked poised on Tuesday to attempt another day of gains after stocks rallied on signs of a slowdown in coronavirus-related deaths, as oil prices resumed their decline on doubts about a potential Saudi-Russian pact to cut output.
FILE PHOTO: Passersby wearing protective face masks following an outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) are reflected on a screen displaying stock prices outside a brokerage in Tokyo, Japan, March 17, 2020. REUTERS/Issei Kato
Hong Kong futures were up and Australia futures also rose in early trade.
Nikkei futures opened lower but were 2.3% above the cash close. The yen eased 0.01% as traders awaited more details on the government’s stimulus package.
On Monday, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe pledged to roll out an unprecedented economic stimulus, equal to 20% of economic output, as his government vowed to take “all steps” to battle deepening fallout from the coronavirus.
Equity investors kicked off the week encouraged by the slowing death toll from the virus across major European nations, including France and Italy. U.S. stocks rallied on Monday, with the S&P 500, Dow Jones Industrial Average, and Nasdaq Composite all gaining more than 7%.
“Markets started the trading week with a more positive tone following early signs of improvement in virus data for key hot spots,” ANZ Research economists said in a morning note.
Emerging market stocks rose 2.66% at the start of the week. MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan closed 2.77% higher.
The governors of New York and New Jersey pointed to tentative signs that the coronavirus outbreak in their states was starting to plateau but warned against complacency, while across the Atlantic British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who has the COVID-19 disease caused by the virus, was taken to intensive care, driving down the pound.
Reported cases of coronavirus, have exceeded more than 1.27 million globally and 70,395 have died, according to a Reuters tally.
Oil futures resumed their decline, falling more than $1 per barrel on Monday, after Saudi Arabia and Russia delayed a key meeting aimed at resolving growing excess supplies at a time the pandemic has pushed down demand.
Prices had previously notched two sessions of double-digit gains on hopes the producers would meet and agree to production cuts.
Gold prices rose, touching a fresh 3-1/2-week high.
Demand for gold, seen as a store of value, has jumped as governments around the world roll out stimulus packages to soften the economic blow of the pandemic, but effectively diluting their currencies.
Reporting by Chris Prentice in Washington and Herbert Lash in New York; Additional reporting by Tom Westbrook in Singapore; Editing by Sonya Hepinstall