European stocks are expected to open higher on Thursday as markets react positively to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) ‘s $ 50 billion commitment to fight the coronavirus epidemic.
The London FTSE index should open 14 more points to 6806, the German DAX up 47 points to 12142, the French CAC 40 saw 25 more points at 5482 and the FTSE MIB of Italy saw 98 points more to 21921, according to IG.
Equities in Asia moved higher on Thursday, started by their American counterparts, the Dow Jones Industrial Average having risen by more than 1100 points on Wednesday. Former Vice President Joe Biden’s main primary victories at Super Tuesday sparked a massive rally in the healthcare sector.
World markets are also supported by the IMF’s announcement of a $ 50 billion aid package on Wednesday to combat the impact of the coronavirus. IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva told CNBC that the money is available “immediately” and is for low-income and emerging countries.
“What we are fighting for is uncertainty and that defines our projections, which at this point leads us to declare that global growth in 2020 will fall below last year’s levels,” said Georgieva.
The IMF decision comes after a series of rate cuts by central banks this week, including the Federal Reserve and the Reserve Bank of Australia.
The latest figures from the World Health Organization (WHO) bring the number of global coronavirus cases to at least 93,000. The number of deaths worldwide is approximately 3,199, according to WHO data . CNBC’s live blog contains the latest updates on the epidemic.
Attention in Europe is still firmly focused on Italy, the country most affected by the epidemic outside of Asia, alongside Iran.
The latest data from Italy on Wednesday evening established the number of confirmed cases at 2,706 and 109 deaths; the majority of cases (1,479) are in Lombardy, where the Italian financial center in Milan is located. The Italian government decided on Wednesday to close all schools and universities in the country until mid-March.
In other news, oil prices rose more than 1% Thursday before an OPEC meeting in Vienna, Austria. De facto OPEC leader Saudi Arabia is expected to push the 14-member oil group and its non-OPEC allies, including Russia, to extend or deepen production cuts to support the market in a context of stagnant demand growth.
Revenues come from Continental, Henkel, Hugo Boss, Aviva, ITV and Admiral Group; there are no major data releases on Thursday.