Markets in Europe are once again on the rise as investors continue to express optimism that the global economy is turning a corner from the coronavirus pandemic.
The FTSE index in London is up 0.8% in midday trading. The CAC-40 in Paris is up nearly one percent, and the DAX index in Frankfurt is 0.4% higher.
Asian markets also enjoyed an upswing Thursday after a shaky start. Tokyo’s Nikkei index closed 2.3% higher, while Sydney’s S&P/ASX index posted a 1.3% gain, and Shanghai was 0.3% higher.
But Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index lost 0.7% as China passed a controversial natural security law that critics say threatens the financial hub's semi-autonomous status. Seoul and Taiwan also posted slight losses.
Oil markets reversed course Thursday, with U.S. crude essentially unchanged at $32.82 per barrel, while Brent crude, the international benchmark, is $34.98 per barrel, a rise of 0.6%.
China’s recent moves to tighten control over Hong Kong have raised diplomatic tensions between Beijing and Washington and subsequently rattled investors. U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced Wednesday that the Trump administration no longer considers the global financial hub as autonomous from China, indicating the U.S. is considering suspending the preferential status that has made the city a top U.S. trading partner.
In futures trading, the Dow Jones is up 0.6% and the S&P 500 is 0.6.% higher, but the Nasdaq is down 0.4%, signaling uncertainty as investors brace for the latest U.S. unemployment figures.