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LONDON MARKET EARLY CALL: Higher Call On Coronavirus Treatment Hope

Mon, 24th Aug 2020 06:58

(Alliance News) - Stock prices in London are seen opening higher on Monday amid hopes of an alternative treatment in the fight against the novel coronavirus.

IG futures indicate the FTSE 100 index is to open 28.41 points higher at 6,030.30. The blue-chip index closed down 11.45 points, or 0.2%, at 6,001.89 Friday.

US authorities announced on Sunday an emergency authorisation for doctors to use blood plasma from recovered coronavirus patients as a treatment against the disease that has killed over 176,000 in the US.

The move by the US Food & Drug Administration comes as President Donald Trump faces intense pressure to curb the contagion that has impaired the world's largest economy and dimmed his prospects for re-election in November.

The plasma is believed to contain powerful antibodies that can help fight off the disease faster and help protect people from being seriously hurt by it.

"Markets are opening this morning to optimism on the therapeutics front after the FDA authorized the use of blood plasma from Covid-19 survivors to treat sick patients. Not the Covid-19 cure all the world is hoping for, but it is another positive step to help patient recovery time and get people back on their feet quicker," said AxiCorp's Stephen Innes.

The Japanese Nikkei 225 index is up 0.3%. In China, the Shanghai Composite is up 0.1%, while the Hang Seng index in Hong Kong is up 1.3%.

On the trade front, Trump on Sunday again said he is willing to largely end trade with China, known as decoupling.

"If they don't treat us right, I would certainly do, I would certainly do that," Trump said when asked about decoupling during an interview with Fox News that aired on Sunday.

"We get nothing from China," Trump added.

The president has been increasingly bellicose with China, saying that he no longer values the US interim trade deal with Beijing and referring to the novel coronavirus as the "China Virus""

Wall Street ended higher on Friday, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average up 0.7%, S&P 500 up 0.3% and Nasdaq Composite up 0.4%.

The pound was quoted at USD1.3093 Monday morning, flat from USD1.3090 at the London equities close Friday.

The euro was priced at USD1.1794 early Monday, firm from USD1.1785 late Friday. Against the yen, the dollar was quoted at JPY105.90 in London, flat from JPY105.89.

Brent oil was trading at USD44.39 a barrel Monday morning, up from USD43.84 on Friday evening. Gold was quoted at USD1,932.46 an ounce, down from USD1,941.70.

The UK corporate calendar on Monday sees blue-chip distribution and services firm Bunzl issue half-year results. Mineral sands company Base Resources and construction firm Henry Boot also will publish half-year results. Clipper Logistics and home shopping firm Studio Retail Group will both release full-year results.

In the economic calendar this week, highlights include a German gross domestic product print on Tuesday at 0700 BST, with US consumer confidence in the afternoon that day at 1500 BST. On Thursday, there is a US GDP reading at 1330 BST, with the Jackson Hole central banking symposium kicking off as a two-day virtual event.

The main attraction is a speech by Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell that is slated to take place on Thursday.

A busy end to the week on Friday sees UK Nationwide housing prices at 0700 BST, eurozone consumer confidence at 1000 BST, German inflation at 1300 BST and US core personal consumption expenditures at 1330 BST.

By Arvind Bhunjun; arvindbhunjun@alliancenews.com

Copyright 2020 Alliance News Limited. All Rights Reserved.

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