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Markets: European indices are still going green, oil is coming out of limbo

Building on the slightest positive news, starting with an oil rebound, European indices remained on the green course Tuesday, despite a disparate session in Asia and still very deep concerns related to the coronavirus.

As the toll of the pandemic continues to grow heavier, with nearly 37,000 deaths worldwide, and very rapid progress in the United States, investors focused on the prospect of finally seeing, after three weeks, the results containment in Italy, the most affected country, as well as in Spain.

“Investors are seeing the curve reverse in Italy and Spain. These are grim statistics to follow, but they offer little hope of seeing containment policies end,” said Jasper Lawler, analyst at London Capital Group.

And the increase was on the Old Continent Tuesday morning.

Around 10:00 (08:00 GMT) Paris took 1.73%, Frankfurt 2.15% and London 2.32%. Milan rose 1.83% and Madrid 1.63%.

In Asia, the indices for their part evolved in a dispersed order, Tokyo dropping its gains of the previous day (-0.88%), worried about a possible confinement of the Japanese capital.

Chinese stock markets, however, benefited from the surprise upturn in manufacturing activity in China in March, even if the World Bank fears zero growth for the second largest economy.

The rebound in oil also brought some air to the markets, after hitting an 18-year low on Monday evening, weighed down by the drop in demand linked to coronaviruses and the price war between producers.

But the stimulus measures taken by the states and the discussions between US President Donald Trump and his Russian counterpart on Monday evening seemed to bring some relief.

The euro continued to weaken against the greenback, while the debt market did not depart from its phlegmatism of recent days, largely watered by the generosity of central banks.

– the key to time –

Technical factors also seemed to be at work on the European markets at the end of the quarter, when investors traditionally arbitrated between their different investments.

“In this last session of the month, it is not impossible for investors to confirm their return to the equity markets, thanks to reallocations in the portfolios,” notes Tangi Le Liboux, a strategist for broker Aurel BGC.

But the key to allowing a solid and prolonged rebound remained in the duration of containment.

“As long as there is an end to the paralysis of the economy, the markets can continue to stabilize”, analyzes Mr. Lawler, but “the greatest risk is to see the confinement extending in the month of May and then in the summer. And this is where large-scale bankruptcies in the travel and tourism industries can occur. “

In the short term, “volatility should drop in the markets, which will continue to try to assess the economic bill of the pandemic,” said Le Liboux. But “a rapid rebound in the world economy seems out of reach by the end of the first half”.

“If the United States arrives at the peak of the epidemic within two or three weeks, another additional month will be necessary before starting to slacken the efforts, then the economic recovery promises to be difficult, with chains of suffering supply and probably hesitant consumers at first, “he says.

And he adds, “the support plans will make it possible to avoid bankruptcies, but the rise in unemployment seems inevitable”.

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