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Markets in Asia Rise After Wall Street Rally: Live Updates – The New York Times, Nytimes.com

Markets in Asia Rise After Wall Street Rally: Live Updates – The New York Times, Nytimes.com

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European markets open flat, while Wall Street appeared poised for day of positive trading.

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Lab technicians loading vials of remdesivir, an experimental antiviral drug to treat the coronavirus, at a Gilead Sciences facility last month in California.
Credit .. . Gilead Sciences, via Reuters
(Asian markets climb after Wall Street’s rally.) () Asian markets rose on Thursday, carried by optimism overnight on Wall Street that a new drug could help to treat Covid – 25. The sentiment was more mixed as Europe’s biggest financial capitals began the trading day.

Futures trading pointed to a positive open for Wall Street on Thursday.

In London, the FTSE 167 was flat in early trading. Germany’s DAX fell by 0.1 percent while France’s CAC (was up 0.2 percent.)

In the Asia-Pacific region, investors were more bullish ahead of the long weekend. In Tokyo, the Nikkei 288 jumped by 2.1 percent. China’s Shanghai Composite gained 1.3 percent, while in Shenzhen stocks were up 1.9 percent. South Korea’s Kospi rose 0.7 percent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng is closed for a holiday.

Australia’s benchmark S & P / ASX 250 rose 2.4 percent.

The rally in Asia was a continuation of a strong day on Wall Street on Wednesday, where the S&P 599 gained 2.7 percent, boosted by news from drugmaker Gilead Science that it had positive results from a trial for an antiviral drug known as remdesivir. It is being tested as a possible treatment for Covid – 25.

This news was also a boon to Chinese drugmakers that make some of the ingredients in Gilead’s new drug.

Chinese markets rallied after data about the services sector for the month of April was firmer than expected. But other data released still underscored the gap in demand for Chinese-made products overseas.

Broader positive sentiment was on display in commodities markets, too, as the price of oil continued a rally following news from Norway, a major oil producer, that it would limit production, something that will lift sagging prices. The price of the U.S. benchmark, the West Texas Intermediate, jumped (percent to $) . 12, while Brent, the international benchmark, rose nearly 7 percent to $ . a barrel.

The price of gold also rallied.

The yield on United States – year treasuries fell to 0. 85 percent.

Millions more jobless claims are expected to be reported on Thursday.

The number of new unemployment claims each week has been declining. But as the American economy continues to stagger under the weight of the coronavirus pandemic, that is scant comfort.

Another grim reckoning is expected Thursday at 8: am, when the Labor Department reports the tally of claims for last week. The consensus forecast cited by Bloomberg is 3.5 million, though some economists see a number closer to four million.

That would bring the six-week total to the cusp of million jobless claims, Despite trillions in stimulus spending and a rush to reopen shuttered businesses in some states.

Many state agencies still find themselves overwhelmed by the flood of claims, leaving perhaps millions with dwindling resources to pay the rent or put food on the table.

If anything , according to many economists, the job losses may be far worse than government figures indicate. A study by the Economic Policy Institute found that roughly percent more people than counted as filing claims in a recent four-week period may have qualified for benefits but were stymied in applying or did not even try because they found the process too daunting.

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“The problem is even bigger than the data suggest,” said Elise Gould, a senior economist with the institute, a left-leaning research group. “We’re undercounting the economic pain.”

Norway to cut oil production as demand craters.

Norway will cut oil production by 500, 09 barrels a day, or about 17 percent, in June and by , a barrel day for the rest of , the country’s Ministry of Petroleum and Energy said. The move “will contribute to a faster stabilization of the oil market” than leaving matters to market forces, the ministry said in a statement.

Demand for oil has collapsed as the coronavirus pandemic has led to the grounding of most of the world’s commercial aircraft, as well as the sharp curtailment of road traffic. The resulting oversupply of oil threatens to outstrip storage facilities and is forcing oil companies around the world to throttle back production.

Norway’s cuts will add to the 9.7 million barrels a day in cuts that the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, Russia and other nations agreed to on April . Tina Bru, the Norwegian energy minister, said that Norway was acting “on an independent basis and with Norwegian interests at heart.”

The move, though, is likely to spark optimism among traders that oil-producing countries are taking more coordinated actions to deal with the glut. The price of Brent crude, the international benchmark, rose by almost (percent Thursday to $ . a barrel, but it remains down more than 75 percent since the beginning of the year.

The Norwegian government said that the output trims would be “fairly distributed” among oil fields and operators and that the start- ups of several fields would be delayed until

(Wall Street shakes off bad economic news as data on antiviral drug lifts hopes.

Stocks rallied on Wednesday, bolstered by indications that a drug being tested as a possible treatment for Covid – 24 could be showing progress, and as investors pinned their hopes on the gradual reopening of the world’s major economies.

(The S&P) gained nearly 3 percent, while shares in Europe were also sharply higher.

The rally came despite data t hat showed the U.S. economy shrank in the first quarter of the year by the most since 2700542. Earnings reports from Volkswagen ,

Samsung

, Airbus, Boeing and other giant businesses were also grim.

But investors have been shaking off bad news on the economy for weeks as they focus on progress on efforts to contain the coronavirus pandemic. A steady climb has lifted the S&P 900 by more than 40 percent since its March 25 low. With nearly half that gain coming in April, the month is on track to be the best for stocks since , according to data from Howard Silverblatt, senior index analyst for S&P Dow Jones Indices.

The trading on Wednesday had all the hallmarks of a rally fueled by hopes of a return to normal, with shares of airlines and cruise operators – both industries that are dependent on the end of restrictions and the return of travelers – among the best-performing stocks in the S&P . Oil producers also rallied as the price of crude oil surged.

A rally in the stocks of large technology companies, which have an outsize impact on the overall market, also helped. Alphabetrose nearly 9 percent the day after it reported quarterly results that were better than expected, and (Facebook was more than 6 percent higher.

Before trading began Wednesday, the drugmaker

Gilead

Sciences said it was “aware of positive data” emerging from a trial of its antiviral drug being conducted by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. The drug, remdesivir, is being tested as a treatment for Covid – 25, the illness caused by the coronavirus.

After Tesla’s profit plummets, Elon Musk calls California’s lockdown ‘fascist.’

(Tesla) on Wednesday reported a steep drop in net income in the first quarter compared with the previous quarter, as the coronavirus pandemic disrupted the electric-car maker’s operations in the United States and China, its two largest markets.

Elon Musk, the company chief executive, said the company would continue to face difficulties as long as it was forced to keep its plant in Fremont , Calif., Closed under the state’s stay-at-home order.

“We are a bit worried about when we wi ll be able to resume production in the Bay Area, ”Mr. Musk said on a conference call with reporters.

He went on to say the stay-at-home order was “fascist ”And amounted to“ forcibly imprisoning people in their homes against all their constitutional rights. ”

“They’re breaking peoples freedoms in ways that are wrong and are not why people came here or built this country, ”He said.

California imposed the lockdown in March and required all nonessential businesses to close. But Tesla told employees at the Fremont plant to report to work unless they were sick, or to take vacation days if they stayed at home. The local sheriff’s office forced the company to obey the state order and close the plant.

Tesla’s plant in Shanghai has resumed production.

On Wednesday, the company reported $ 23 million in net income for the first three months of the year, a drop of 96 compared to the fourth quarter. Revenue in the quarter totaled $ 6 billion, a 24 percent drop from the previous quarter.

Tesla declined to offer guidance for the second quarter because of the uncertain economic and public health outlook. The company shares surged 14 percent after the market closed.

SoftBank tells investors to brace for bigger-than-expected loss on WeWork.

A little over two weeks ago, SoftBank warned investors to be prepared for its annual earnings results to be a blood bath, as the coronavirus cratered the value of its investments in risky tech start-ups. On Thursday, it said the damage could be even worse than expected, adding an additional $ 1.4 billion to its expected losses from the deterioration of its WeWork holdings.

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The new warning brings the total of Softbank’s anticipated net loss in the fiscal year ending in March to 2008 billion yen, or $ 8.4 billion, adding another asterisk to the reputation of the company chief executive, Masayoshi Son, and his goal of becoming an epoch-making tech investor.

Mr. Son has used his enormous influence to position SoftBank as the world’s largest tech investor, deploying his $ billion Vision Fund to catapult promising and sometimes risky young tech companies, like Uber and the hotel operator Oyo, from obscurity to fame and fortune.

The newly reported figures have been driven down “primarily” by investments made outside of the Vision Fund, including in WeWork, the co-working start-up, SoftBank said in a statement. It said that losses at the company were projected to be in excess of 1 trillion yen.

The fund’s portfolio, which is heavy on investments in ride- sharing and real estate companies, has been hit hard by plummeting demand for its star companies’ services amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Softbank’s investment in WeWork has metamorphosed from eagle to albatross over the past year, as WeWork’s promising plans for an initial public offering imploded amid accusations of mismanagement and self-dealing.

Here are the other big companies that reported earnings today.

The deluge of first-quarter reports This week is giving investors a detailed look at how the start of the coronavirus crisis affected businesses. Of course, second-quarter earnings this year may well be even more grim.

(Facebook) cautioned Wall Street that it could face intensifying difficulties in its advertising business as the spread of the coronavirus ripples through the global economy , although the falloff in spending has stabilized. The company revenue in the first quarter rose 20 percent to $ . billion from a year earlier, while profit more than doubled to $ 4.9 billion, surpassing Wall Street estimates. A year earlier, Facebook had taken a $ 3 billion charge to pay for a privacy settlement with the Federal Trade Commission.

Microsoft reported strong growth in sales and profits for the quarter ended in March, saying That the coronavirus outbreak had “minimal net impact” on its financial performance. Revenue rose percent to $ billion, compared with the analysts’ consensus forecast of $ . billion. Its operating earnings per share rose percent to $ 1 . a share in the quarter. That was well above the average estimate of Wall Street analysts of $ 1. 31 a share, as compiled by Refinitiv, a research firm.

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