February 4, 2020 / 4:51 PM / 14 days ago

GLOBAL MARKETS-Stocks surge, oil rebounds on China virus efforts

(Adds U.S. market open; changes dateline; previous LONDON)

* European, U.S. stocks bounce on Chinese anti-virus efforts

* Crude prices rebound from more than one-year lows

* Coronavirus death toll rises to 427

By Herbert Lash

NEW YORK, Feb 4 (Reuters) - Crude oil prices rebounded and global equity markets surged on Tuesday as China’s efforts to minimize the economic impact from the coronavirus epidemic spurred investors’ risk appetite.

The price of gold and government debt slid on views China will do whatever it can to alleviate the economic toll from an outbreak that has killed more than 420 people and infected more than 20,000.

The People’s Bank of China (PBOC) pumped hundreds of billions of dollars into the financial system this week and policymakers are readying further measures to support the economy, policy sources told Reuters.

Chinese stocks overnight reversed some of Monday’s plunge while European equities were poised to post their best single-day gain since October. Copper prices jumped after China moved to protect its economy.

MSCI’s gauge of global equity performance rose 1.59%, its biggest single-day gain since August, as a surge on Wall Street lifted the index, which is heavily weighted to U.S. stocks.

London’s heavyweight FTSE rose 1.5% on both a rally in mining stocks and a weak pound sparked by renewed worries about Britain’s post-Brexit trade relations with the European Union.

Chinese stocks rebounded in choppy trade after anxiety over the virus erased $400 billion in market value from Shanghai’s benchmark index on Monday when it reopened following the extended Lunar New Year holiday.

The Shanghai Composite closed up 1.3%, while the blue-chip CSI300 rebounded 2.6% after a near 8% slide on Monday. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng advanced 1.2%.

From a global perspective, the coronavirus outbreak is seen as a temporary setback, said Jack Ablin, chief investment officer at Cresset Capital Management.

“Worried investors drew pretty scary trendlines and that’s probably not the case,” Ablin said. “China is certainly taking the coronavirus seriously.”

The pan-European STOXX 600 index rose 1.60% and emerging market stocks rose 2.52%.

On Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 493.85 points, or 1.74%, to 28,893.66. The S&P 500 gained 55.38 points, or 1.70%, to 3,304.3 and the Nasdaq Composite added 184.34 points, or 1.99%, to 9,457.74.

Alphabet Inc dropped -3.3% after Google’s advertising business and new data about YouTube and Google Cloud broadly disappointed.

But Google’s losses were offset by a more than 3.5% rise in shares of Apple Inc and Microsoft Corp, which helped the technology index climb 2.8%.

The safe-haven Japanese yen and Swiss franc fell for a second straight session against the dollar.

The dollar index rose 0.19%, with the euro down 0.22% to $1.1034. The yen weakened 0.68% versus the greenback at 109.44 per dollar.

China’s yuan gained 0.3% in international markets to 6.9935 yuan per dollar, in line with rebounds in Chinese shares and holding above its one-month low of 7.0230 per dollar hit in European trade on Monday.

Oil prices clawed back ground on hopes for additional production cuts from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies to offset the expected drop in demand from China triggered by the coronavirus outbreak.

Brent crude rose 21 cents to $54.66 a barrel while U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude gained 35 cents to $50.45.

The rebound in oil prices from more than one-year lows follows an extended slide over the past two weeks on concern over the global economic impact of China’s coronavirus.

A swath of commodities, from copper to iron ore, joined oil’s bounce after also having been hammered by fears the drag on Chinese industry and travel would sharply curb demand.

Copper, which is used as a gauge of global economic health and in particular China’s, traded up 2.6% at $5,666 a tonne in London official rings. It was its biggest surge of the year having dropped nearly 13% since Jan. 16.

Reporting by Herbert Lash; Editing by Dan Grebler

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