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Stocks rally after Chinese data boost to close worst quarter since 2008

Video credit: Reuters Studio
Published on March 31, 2020 - Duration: 01:32s

Stocks rally after Chinese data boost to close worst quarter since 2008

World stocks looked set to close their worst quarter since 2008 on a brighter note on Tuesday, as strong Chinese factory data held out hope for an economic revival even as much of the rest of the world shut down to fight the coronavirus.

Ciara Lee reports

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Stocks rally after Chinese data boost to close worst quarter since 2008

European defensive sectors led the way higher on Tuesday (March 31).

Stocks inched up as investors awaited further signs that the economy could weather the fallout from a near total global shutdown.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index was up nearly two percent in morning trade.

Real estate stocks, utilities and telecoms — considered stable during heightened volatility — added between 0.9% and 1.5%.

But the benchmark index was set to end its worst quarter in 18 years.

The rout has erased more than $3 trillion from the value of European firms in just over a month.

It was a similar story for Asian shares on Tuesday.

They saw a small rally as factory data from China provided a glimmer of hope.

China's manufacturing PMI bounced to 52 in March, up from a record-low 35.7 in February.

But analysts cautioned the underlying activity probably remained well below par, particularly as the global crisis is showing no signs of abating.

Japan's Nikkei fell nearly a percent on fears that Tokyo could go into its first-ever lockdown.

But there were some positive signs out of hard-hit Italy.

Infections slowed a little, but the government still extended its lockdown to mid-April.

Oil prices steadied after hitting their lowest in almost 18 years on Monday (March 30) as lockdowns squeeze demand.

President Trump and Russia's Vladimir Putin agreed during a phone call on Monday to have their top energy officials meet to discuss slumping prices.

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World stocks looked set to close their worst quarter since 2008 on a brighter note on Tuesday, as strong Chinese factory data held out hope for an economic...
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World stocks were set to close their worst quarter since 2008 on a brighter note, as Chinese factory data on Tuesday held out hope for an economic revival even...
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