FTSE 100 rebounds slightly as it opens up 3 per cent to 5,298 amid coronavirus panic on the markets
The FTSE 100 opened up nearly 3 per cent today as investors soaked in the news of the Government’s increased measures to protect the UK against coronavirus.
The index of Britain’s biggest companies rose 147 points or 2.9 per cent to 5,298 in early trading this morning.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak will later set out a new package of support for businesses hit by the outbreak less than a week after announcing £12billion of emergency funding in the Budget.
It comes as Asian markets fluctuated today after Wall Street suffered its worst day in more than three decades with coronavirus panic sweeping the planet.
Boris Johnson has unveiled unprecedented peacetime measures to try to control the spread of coronavirus, as the death toll of people with the infection in Britain hit 55.
A bank worker looks at share prices today at a trading gallery in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
TODAY AND YESTERDAY: The FTSE 100 rose in early trading today after falling again yesterday
In a press conference yesterday, the Prime Minister called on people to stay away from pubs, clubs and theatres and to avoid all non-essential contacts and travel.
It came after scientists warned 250,000 people will die in Britain as a result of the outbreak unless more draconian measures are adopted to protect the population.
While governments and central banks attempt to soothe markets with massive stimulus pledges and interest rate cuts, more countries are going into lockdown to prevent the outbreak’s spread – bringing the world economy juddering to a halt.
There is a broad consensus that the disease, which has wiped trillions off market valuations, will cause a global recession.
PAST WEEK: The FTSE has collapsed over the past week, before rising slightly this morning
PAST THREE WEEKS: Coronavirus has seen market valuations collapse, including in London
The airline industry is among the first in the firing line, leading company heads to plead for billions of dollars in state help to prevent them going under.
National Australia Bank’s Rodrigo Catril said today: ‘Drastic measures by the Federal Reserve and other central banks have failed to appease markets.’
He added that investors are ‘still running towards the exit door of risk assets as governments step up their radical measures to contain the COVID-19 outbreak’.
The Philippines became the first country to shut down its stock market as the country goes into lockdown, and the bourse will be closed until further notice.
Sydney rose 5.8 per cent, a day after crashing 9.7 per cent in its worst day on record. But after an early advance, the rest of Asia swung back and forth through the day.
Tokyo ended up 0.1 per cent after a rollercoaster session, Hong Kong added 0.4 per cent in the afternoon and Mumbai rose 0.8 per cent, while Bangkok was slightly up.
But Shanghai slipped 0.3 per cent, while Jakarta sank more than 4 percent. Seoul, Taipei and Singapore were all down.
Wall Street indices collapsed yesterday in their worst day since 1987, with the S&P 500 and Nasdaq dropping about 12 per cent and the Dow sinking nearly 13 per cent.