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US Markets Up; Europe, Asia Post Major Losses

A man wearing face mask walks past a bank electronic board showing the Hong Kong share index at Hong Kong Stock Exchange, May 14, 2020.

Global markets traded with mixed results Thursday with investors’ concerns about the state of the global economy conflicting with optimism about the world slowly emerging from coronavirus restrictions.

Major U.S. market indexes were on the upswing with Dow Jones Industrial Average gaining 1.62%, or 377.37 points to end at 23,625.34

The Nasdaq composite was up almost 1%, or 80.55 points, to close at 8,943.72.

The S&P 500 ended with 1.15% increase, or 32.50 points, and closed the day at 2,852.50.

But Asian and European markets slipped the day after the chairman of the U.S. central bank, Jerome Powell, warned Wednesday that the current economic downturn caused by the global COVID-19 outbreak will last into the foreseeable future.

London’s FTSE index was down 2.75%, CAC-40 in Paris closed 1.65% lower and Frankfurt’s DAX index was down almost 2%.

Thursday’s slide began earlier in Asia, with markets in Tokyo, Hong Kong, Seoul, Shanghai and Taipei plummeting. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 also posted a loss at the end of the trading day.

The prices of oil were up sharply amid big production cuts and hopes for more demand as countries emerge from the coronavirus lockdowns.

The U.S. benchmark West Texas Intermediate crude is trading at $27.77 per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, while Brent crude, the international benchmark, settled at $31.33 per barrel.

The U.S. unemployment continues to rise. The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits has reached 36 million since March, which amounts to about a quarter of the total U.S. workforce.

The weekly figures have been declining since the end of March and early April but remain historically high.