The FTSE 100 has gained 2.7% in the first few minutes of trading, or 150 points to reach 5,566 points.
Germany’s Dax benchmark has gained 4%, while France’s Cac 40 has gained 2% and Spain’s Ibex rose by 3.3%.
Introduction: Stocks gain and oil prices wobble
Good morning, and welcome to our live coverage of business, economics and financial markets.
Stock markets in Asia and Europe have started the week on the front foot, after positive news on the slowing rate of deaths in France and Italy appeared to give investors hope that the coronavirus lockdown measures are bearing fruit.
Share indices rose strongly in Japan, Australia, Hong Kong and Korea, amid signs that the lockdowns imposed on countries around the world have indeed slowed the spread of the disease. Korea, Italy and France all reported numbers over the weekend that suggested the spread had slowed. But Chinese stocks dipped by 0.6% in Shanghai and Shenzhen.
Yet as economists at Deutsche Bank led by Jim Reid note, there is still significant uncertainty over when countries will return to some semblance of normal functioning:
Overall global new case growth and fatalities are slowing but are they slowing quickly enough to work out when economies can reopen?
The FTSE 100 is lagging slightly behind other European indices. Last night it emerged that Prime Minister Boris Johnson had been admitted to hospital with persistent Covid-19 symptoms.
It was a tricky weekend on oil markets, after one of the most volatile weeks ever. On Thursday oil futures prices surged by more than a fifth after Donald Trump said Russia and Saudi Arabia had agreed a big cut in production, but since then it has become clear that a deal is far from being completed.
Brent crude oil prices fell by as much as $3 per barrel early on Monday after Opec, the producers’ cartel, postponed a meeting on potential cuts until Thursday.
However, by the time of the opening bell on European exchanges the price of Brent crude futures, the global benchmark, was only down by 1%, at $33.76 per barrel.In corporate news,
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