British stocks rebounded on Monday following last week’s sharp fall amid market concerns over increasing number of confirmed COVID-19 cases globally.
The benchmark FTSE 100 Index, opening higher on Monday morning, closed at 6,654.89 points, up by 1.13 percent, or 74.28 points.
Hikma Pharmaceuticals, a multinational pharmaceutical company, soared 6.21 percent, the top gainer of the blue chips. Ocado Group and WM Morrison Supermarkets increased by 5.22 percent and 5.17 percent, respectively.
International Consolidated Airlines Group, an Anglo-Spanish multinational airline holding company, was the worst performer in the blue chips, with its shares losing 8.24 percent. British-American cruise operator Carnival and low-cost airline EasyJet also fell.
Russ Mould, investment director at AJ Bell, was quoted by the BBC as saying: “Investors have used the weekend to contemplate last week’s global markets sell-off. The time for reflection seems to have switched the mood from a state of manic to a sense of calm, as illustrated by markets starting to move up on Monday.”
Analysts believed the market rise was based on hopes of stimulus from central banks.
Stock markets in Chinese mainland, Hong Kong as well as Japan are higher as traders are hopeful there will be coordinated approach by central banks and governments to tackle the crisis. Dealers are optimistic the U.S., Australian and the Japanese central banks will loosen monetary policy to try and alleviate the crisis. European equity markets are tipped to open higher on the back of this optimism too, according to David Madden, market analyst at CMC Markets (UK).
In Italy, where there are more than 1,600 confirmed cases, Economy Minister Roberto Gualtieri announced on Sunday the country will launch measures worth 3.6 billion euros (4.02 billion U.S. dollars) to cope with the novel coronavirus impact on the economy.
However, concerns remain grave over the rising threat of the coronavirus. European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said Monday that the risk for people living or travelling in Europe to be infected with the virus has been leveled up by the European Center for Disease Prevention Control (ECDC).
According to the daily ECDC risk assessment published Monday, the risk associated with the infection for people in the EU/EEA and Britain is currently considered “moderate to high”. Enditem