Stocks jump amid Covid-19 treatment hopes, JSE gains more than 1%
- Stock markets gained on Monday on positive news around coronavirus treatments and relaxing US-China relations.
- The Food and Drug Administration issued emergency authorisation for using plasma to treat COVID-19. Separately, the White House is looking to fast-track AstraZeneca's experimental coronavirus vaccine, according to the Financial Times.
- Bloomberg reported Sunday the Trump administration has been reassuring US companies that banning WeChat wouldn't interfere with their business in China. The moves come after news of the ban raised concerns of widespread tech-industry fallout.
- Oil gained amid new hopes for a near-term recovery. West Texas Intermediate crude rose as much as 1.3%, to $42.89 (R726) per barrel.
- Watch major indexes update live here.
Stocks jumped on Monday amid new optimism for a near-term coronavirus treatment and cooling US-China relations.
Investor sentiments were lifted on Sunday after the Food and Drug Administration issued emergency authorisation for using convalescent plasma to treat COVID-19. The method hasn't proved effective against the virus in clinical trials and follows calls from President Donald Trump to fast-track treatment approvals.
In coronavirus vaccine news, the Financial Times reported Sunday that the White House is mulling an emergency use authorisation for AstraZeneca's experimental drug. Such an action would bypass regulatory standards and potentially introduce a vaccine to the US market before November's presidential election.
The JSE's all share index rose by more than a percent, while the rand was last at R16.93 - its best level in weeks.
Here's where US indexes stood on Monday afternoon (SA time)
- S&P 500: 3,422.97, up 0.8%
- Dow Jones industrial average: 28,091.52, up 0.6% (161 points)
- Nasdaq composite: 11,453.53, up 1.3%
Investors also enjoyed a reprieve from rising tensions between the US and China. Bloomberg reported Sunday night that the White House had reassured companies they can continue doing business with Tencent-owned WeChat in China even after the app is banned in the US. Naspers, which owns a large stake in Tencent via Prosus, rose more than one percent. Prosus gained 1.5%.
Senior officials in the administration reportedly realised that a blanket ban would have a major impact on the tech, communications, and gaming industries, among others, according to Bloomberg.
Monday's gains place the S&P 500 and Nasdaq composite at new highs following a Friday climb. The former index broke through its previous peak last week on the back of better-than-expected economic data and strong earnings from retail giants including Home Depot and Target.
Gold briefly rose back above $1,960 per ounce in its steady climb to retake recent highs. The precious metal surged above $2,000 (R33,875) earlier in August but tumbled soon after as investors secured profits.
Oil rose as well amid the fresh economic recovery hopes. West Texas Intermediate crude gained as much as 1.3%, to $42.89 (R726) per barrel. Brent crude, oil's international benchmark, jumped 1.4%, to $44.96 per barrel, at intraday highs.
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