Stock rally falters as doubts mount over coronavirus vaccine

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Global stocks have struggled to develop as investor optimism about a possible coronavirus vaccine wanes.

The Japanese Topix benchmark rose 0.7% on Wednesday, while Australia’s S & P / ASX 200 rose 0.4%. The Hong Kong Hang Seng rose 0.1% and the Chinese CSI 300 index of stocks listed in Shanghai and Shenzhen fell 0.4%.

Overnight, US stocks fell during the last trading hour after health care news website Stat released report questioning the strength of clinical trial data for a possible vaccine Covid-19. The trial, led by biotechnology company Moderna, helped generate gains for the equity markets earlier this week.

The S&P 500 ended Tuesday down 1.1% after spending most of the day in positive territory.

Futures markets reported gains for US stocks when Wall Street started trading later today, the S&P 500 is expected to increase 0.6%. London’s FTSE 100 is expected to lose 0.3%.

Global stock markets have rebounded vigorously in recent weeks thanks to huge support from governments and central banks. At the same time, official data in economies such as the United States and the United Kingdom have highlighted the devastation caused by the virus, which has led to a rapid increase in unemployment and a drop in business activity. .

But traders said on Wednesday that the picture in the markets remains optimistic.

“The underlying momentum of the peak of the virus trade remains intact for the moment, even if we do not agree with the divergence of hope compared to the reality of the financial markets,” said Jeffrey Halley, senior Asia-Pacific market analyst with broker Oanda. “Night retirement looks more like a corrective profit-taking nature than a sudden change in direction. “

The rise in Japanese stocks came after data showed that orders for basic machinery – seen as a leading indicator of capital spending in the coming months – fell less than analysts had expected in April.

Oil prices are slightly higher, with energy consultant Wood Mackenzie estimating that national oil companies will cut exploration budgets by more than a quarter on average in 2020.

“Exploration budget cuts, while necessary today, will affect future growth and sustainability for businesses,” said Huong Tra Ho, analyst at Wood Mackenzie. ” We are waiting [companies] to revitalize their exploration programs as the sector recovers. “

Crude oil Brent, the international benchmark, rose 0.9% to $ 34.95 a barrel while the American marker West Texas Intermediate increased 0.7% to $ 32.17 a barrel.

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