Coronavirus: European stocks rise after uptick in cases dents Asian markets

Edmund Heaphy
Finance and news reporter
Disinfection professionals spray antiseptic solution in a classroom in Seoul, South Korea. (Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images)

Shares in Europe opened modestly in the green on Tuesday even after fears of a new wave of COVID-19 infections saw broad declines across Asian markets.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index (^STOXX) was 0.3% in the green. London’s FTSE 100 (^FTSE) rose by around 0.5%.

Germany’s DAX (^GDAXI) climbed by around 0.1%, while France’s CAC 40 (^FCHI) was marginally in the red.

The Chinese city of Wuhan, the original epicentre of the coronavirus outbreak, on Monday reported its first cluster of infections since the lockdown on the city was eased last month.

READ MORE: Morrisons vows to 'feed the nation' as it recruits 25,000 extra staff

New coronavirus cases were also discovered in the city of Shulan, which had not reported any new infections for over 70 days.

Meanwhile, South Korea over the weekend reported its biggest jump in infections in a month, with several cases linked to bars and nightclubs in Seoul, the country’s capital city.

China’s SSE Composite Index (^SSEC) fell by almost more than 0.1% on Tuesday and the Hang Seng (^HSI) was down by more than 1.6% in Hong Kong at market close.

Japan’s Nikkei (^N225) closed 0.1% in the red, while the KOSPI Composite Index (^KOSPI) in South Korea fell by almost 0.7%. Australia’s ASX 200 (^AXJO) declined by more than 1%.

READ MORE: 7.6 million UK jobs are at risk because of the coronavirus lockdown

“In a sign that sentiment is extremely fragile, the rebound that we saw at the end of last week has given way to rising nervousness about a second wave of infections as a number of countries have started to report an increase in the number of cases,” said Michael Hewson, the chief market analyst at CMC Markets UK.

“It is perhaps inevitable that we will see infection rates ebb and flow. This was always likely to happen, but what is more puzzling is why markets appear more concerned about that than they are about the millions of unemployed there are likely to be by year end,” he said.

Futures were pointing to a lower open for US stocks on Tuesday.

S&P 500 futures (ES=F) fell by more than 0.3%, as did Dow Jones Industrial Average futures (YM=F). Nasdaq futures (NQ=F) were down by less than 0.1%.