Oil surge lifts global stocks out of three-day losing streak

NEW YORK (Reuters) – A gauge of global stock markets snapped a three-day losing streak on Tuesday as moves to ease major economies out of their coronavirus lockdowns lifted the outlook for growth and helped give international oil prices a sixth day of strong gains.

U.S. Treasury yields rose as plans to reopen major economies boosted risk appetite.

Crude prices soared on hopes a recovery in vehicle traffic will boost fuel demand as some U.S. states, as well as countries in Europe and Asia, start to ease lockdown measures. Risk appetite rose, lifting bond yields as gold prices fell.

Oil majors pushed the main stock indices higher across Europe and on Wall Street as Brent crude futures surged 12% to more than $30 a barrel – the first time the global benchmark has traded above that level since April 15.

Royal Dutch Shell and BP PLC in London, Total in Paris, Eni SpA in Milan and Repsol in Madrid led their respective country indices higher, while Exxon Mobil Corp and Chevron Corp were the biggest gainers in the Dow industrials in New York.

“There is some hope that things are starting to get back to normal, and the rally in oil is helping put some confidence back in the markets,” said Keith Temperton, a sales trader at Tavira Securities.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index rose 2.12% while MSCI’s gauge of stocks across the globe gained 1.57%.

On Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 384.13 points, or 1.62%, to 24,133.89. The S&P 500 gained 50.13 points, or 1.76%, to 2,892.87 and the Nasdaq Composite added 167.17 points, or 1.92%, to 8,877.89.

The change of mood marked a reversal from Monday, when renewed U.S.-China bickering unsettled investors and pushed stocks lower in Europe, Asia and most of the day on Wall Street.

German shares lost some ground at one point after Germany’s top court said the European Central Bank’s bond purchasing program partially violates the constitution.

The euro and the region’s government debt fell, too, though the court said the ECB program did not amount to monetary financing – in which a central bank bankrolls the government – which is banned in Germany. The ruling also did not apply to the bank’s new coronavirus PEPP support program.

In addition to the German court angst, euro zone producer prices fell the most in March since the 2008 financial crisis, Eurostat data showed.

The drop was more than expected as the COVID-19 pandemic reduced demand for energy. Prices at factory gates in the 19 countries sharing the euro fell 1.5% month-on-month in March and 2.8% year-on-year.

The euro slid 0.55% to $1.0846 and a sell-off in bond markets pushed Italy’s ultra ECB-sensitive government yields up past 1.90% again.

The slide in the euro bolstered the dollar. The dollar index rose 0.232%, but the jump in oil meant the big petro currencies like Canada’s dollar, Norway’s crown and Russia’s ruble were all stronger.

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With countries including the United States, Germany, France, Spain, Italy, Nigeria, India, and Malaysia all tentatively easing lockdowns, the hope for oil producers is that the worst of the demand slump is over.

U.S. crude rose 18.44% to $24.15 per barrel and Brent was at $30.51, up 12.17% on the day.

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