European markets are mixed in midday trading Thursday.
London’s FTSE was trading slightly lower, while both the DAX in Frankfurt and Paris’ CAC-40 had made slight gains.
Meanwhile, the S&P 500, Dow Jones and Nasdaq were all in positive territory in futures trading, indicating that Wall Street would continue Wednesday’s big rally sparked by news that initial tests of an experimental drug, remdesivir, helped coronavirus patients recover rapidly from the disease. The results were praised by Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, as “very optimistic.”
More good news came from Britain, where researchers at Oxford University say a vaccine for the coronavirus, currently being tested on people, could be widely available as early as September.
The rally on Wall Street spilled over into Asia Thursday, with Japan’s Nikkei index gaining 422 points, or 2.4%, to close out the trading day at 20,193.69. Australia’s S&P/ASX ended the day 2.4% higher, while Shanghai’s index gained 1.3%. The indexes in Hong Kong and Seoul were closed for public holidays.
Oil markets continued to recover, with the price of West Texas Intermediate crude, the U.S. benchmark, trading at $17.46 per barrel, a gain of 15.9%, while the international benchmark Brent crude was trading at $24.87 per barrel, up 10.3%.