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US Markets Lose Ground; Moderate Gains Posted in Europe

FILE - A passer-by walks past pedestrian traffic pylons in an outdoor mall where most stores remain closed out of concern for the coronavirus, in Dedham, Mass., April 22, 2020.

U.S. stocks lost gains and markets posted mixed results Thursday after an experimental COVID-19 treatment showed disappointing results in Chinese trials.

The tests showed that remdesivir, an antiviral drug developed by California-based Gilead Sciences, failed to improve patients’ condition or remove the pathogen from the bloodstream.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose around 39 points, or 0.17%, to end near 23,515. The S&P 500 lost around 1.5 points, or 0.05%, to end near 2,798. The Nasdaq Composite Index fell 0.01% to end near 8,495.

Gilead Sciences shares fell 4.3%.

European markets held ground with moderate gains. London’s FTSE-100 Index closed 0.97% higher, Germany’s DAX Performance Index finished with a gain of 0.95% and France’s CAC 40 Index increased 0.89%.

Asian markets finished mostly higher, with the benchmark indexes in Tokyo, Hong Kong and Seoul posting gains, while trading in Shanghai and Sydney closed out the day flat.

In oil futures trading, the price of U.S. benchmark West Texas Intermediate crude oil was trading 23.80% higher at $17.06 per barrel, continuing its recovery from Monday, when it fell to $-37.63 per barrel, the first time the price had dropped below zero.

Brent Crude, the international benchmark, was trading 7.3% higher at $21.86 per barrel.

U.S. unemployment claims reached a record 26.4 million, which is about 15% of the workforce.

The global economy is experiencing a sharp deterioration because of the coronavirus pandemic. The International Monetary Fund expects 170 nations, rich and poor, to experience declines in economic activity per person this year. That means falling average living standards. Economists warn that developing countries will be especially hard hit.

The U.S. House of Representatives completed work on $484 billion in additional funds for small businesses and hospitals Thursday, and it was sent to President Donald Trump for his signature. Lawmakers have now passed four measures worth trillions of dollars to address the crises caused by the coronavirus outbreak.

European Union leaders argued about a multimillion-dollar rescue package for the bloc’s flailing economies in a videoconference summit.