Global Stocks Track Wall St. Rally, Tokyo Jumps Nearly 5%

TOKYO (AP) -
A man walks by an electronic stock board of a securities firm in Tokyo. (AP Photo/Koji Sasahara)

Global shares rose Tuesday, cheered by fresh moves by the U.S. Federal Reserve to support markets battered by the coronavirus pandemic.

France’s CAC 40 gained 2.1% in early trading to 4,914.50, while Germany’s DAX was up 2.4% at 12,200.39. Britain’s FTSE 100 surged 2.5% to 6,213.01. U.S. shares were also set for gains, with Dow futures at 26,110.0, up 1.7%. S&P 500 futures rose 1.2% to 3,097.12.

“In case the generosity of the Fed was in any doubt, it is not. Global equity markets are recovering quickly,” after the Fed announcement, Stephen Innes, chief global markets strategist at AxiCorp, said in a report.

Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 surged 4.9% to finish at 22,582.21 after the central bank promised more funding for corporate financing, though its minus 0.1% benchmark interest rate and ultra-lax monetary stance remained unchanged.

South Korea’s Kospi gained 5.3% to 2,138.05, while Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 jumped 3.9% to 5,942.30. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng added 2.4% to 24,344.09. The Shanghai Composite edged up 1.4% to 2,931.75.

The Bank of Japan expanded its “Special Program,” including purchases of commercial paper and corporate bonds and its lending programs for commercial banks, to 110 trillion yen from 75 trillion yen ($1.02 trillion from $690 billion).

In a statement, the Bank of Japan said the economy “is likely to remain in a severe situation for the time being due to the impact of COVID-19,” though it expects economic activity to resume gradually.

Gov. Haruhiko Kuroda told reporters that recovery could come in the latter part of the year if the effects of the pandemic are mitigated. He stressed that meeting participants agreed the bank should take extra action if needed.

Flexibility is key because of uncertainties about the virus, he added.

“We don’t know yet when a treatment or vaccine can be developed or become available,” Kuroda said.

The Fed announced Monday that it will buy individual corporate bonds as part of its previously announced program to keep lending markets running smoothly and allow big employers to get access to cash.

The move was the latest reminder the Fed is doing everything it can to help support markets, analysts said. Central banks have repeatedly come to the economy’s rescue over the years, and it was huge, unprecedented moves by the Fed earlier this year that helped put a halt to the S&P 500’s nearly 34% sell-off on worries about the recession coming out of the coronavirus pandemic.

Still, the number of COVID-19 cases is still growing in states across the country and nations around the world. Governments are relaxing lockdowns in hopes of nursing their devastated economies back to life, but without a vaccine, the reopenings could bring on further waves of COVID-19 deaths.

“More importantly and something that seems to get lost in every rebound narrative is whether consumer behavior turns more cautious and inhibits a recovery in spending,” said Innes of AxiCorp.

Benchmark U.S. crude rose 45 cents to $37.57 a barrel. It rose 86 cents to $37.12 a barrel on Monday. Brent crude, the international standard, added 63 cents to $40.35 a barrel.

The dollar rose to 107.41 Japanese yen from 107.38 yen on Monday. The euro cost $1.1341, up from $1.1322.