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FTSE 100 LIVE: FTSE up after days of panic – markets cautious as lockdown eases

The commodity-heavy FTSE 100 was up 1.2 percent, with BP Plc and Royal Dutch Shell Plc providing the biggest boost. Miners including Rio Tinto, Glencore and BHP Group jumped between 2.0 percent and 3.4 percent. The mid-cap FTSE 250 rose 1 percent with data showing China’s industrial production climbed a faster-than-expected 3.9 percenr in April as the country returned to work after months of coronavirus-induced lockdowns.

Battered cruise operator Carnival Corp surged 7 percent to the top of the FTSE 100 after saying it was cutting 820 positions out of a workforce of roughly 3,000 employees in Florida as the future of the industry remains uncertain amid no-sail orders due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

It comes after Asian stocks struggled to gain on Friday and were on course to end the week lower as deteriorating US-China relations cut optimism over the reopening of major economies.

Worries about confrontations between the two largest economies in the world eclipsed Chinese economic data, which showed it economy is gradually recovering from the shock of the coronavirus outbreak.

With China the first to relax lockdowns, global investors are closely watching it for clues on how long demand will take to bounce back, as other countries begin to ease their own anti-virus measures.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan .MIAPJ0000PUS were little changed, with gains in Australia offset by falls in Hong Kong.

Japan’s Nikkei ipped 0.3 percent while mainland Chinese shares also ticked lower.

U.S. S&P500 futures ESc1 dipped 0.15 percent after the index gained 1.15 percent the previous day, recovering from a three-week low.

While many analysts regarded the drop as a natural correction after a fast rally since mid-March, they are also increasingly worried about US-China relations as US President Donald Trump blames China for the disease that killed more than 85,000 Americans.

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FTSE 100 LIVE: FTSE up after days of panic – markets cautious as lockdown eases

FTSE 100 LIVE: Asia shares struggled amid coronavirus tensions (Image: GETTY)

9.17am update: FTSE up 

The FTSE 100 index at 9.15am was up 72.34 at 5813.88.

8.01am update: FTSE 100 opens 

The FTSE 100 index opened at 5741.54.

7.47am update: FTSE unchanged 

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The FTSE 100 index at 7.44am was unchanged at 5741.54.

7.35am update: William Hill revenue drops 

William Hill said its revenue dropped by more than half around the world as the coronavirus pandemic struck the global economy.

In the seven weeks to April 28, total net revenue dropped by 57 percent. The company’s operations in the US were hardest hit, falling by 90 percent.

Betting on sports reduced by 86 percent over the period, William Hill said, as many sports decided to cancel events entirely, meaning there was nothing to bet on.

However, online sports wagers fell by less than expected as customers started putting bets on table tennis and emerging market football.’

7.22am update: FTSE 100 on track to recoup losses

The FTSE is expected to open at 5,796, up 54 points.

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CMC’s David Madden said: “Overnight, China announced several economic reports. The fixed asset investment reading for April was -10.3 percent, while the consensus estimate was -10 percent, and keep in mind the March update was -16 percent.

“Industrial production was 3.9 percent and economists were anticipating 1.5 percent, while the previous reading was -1.1 percent. Retail sales came in at -7.5 percent, and the forecast was -7 percent. The retail sales report for March was -15.8 percent.

“Traders responded well to the improving data from China, which is why stocks in Asia are a little higher. The European markets are on track to recoup some of yesterday’s losses.”

6.14am update: Coronavirus forces HSBC to cut global growth forecasts

Europe’s biggest bank, HSBC has cut already bleak global growth forecasts even further, as lockdown restrictions extended through April and tentative economic re-openings drag on a return to business, trade and spending.

The bank lowered its 2020 global gross domestic product forecast to a contraction of 4.8 percent, according to a note from chief economist Janet Henry dated May 12 and published on Friday.

It had forecast a 3.3 percent contraction for the year in early April. Many large banks last published growth forecasts around then and the cut could signal another round of dire predictions.

HSBC has downgraded its 2020 forecasts for the developed world from a contraction of 5.9 percent to a contraction of 7.1 percent and for emerging economies from 0.5 percent growth to a 1.7 percent contraction. It forecasts full year US GDP at -7.0 percent and China’s at 1.7 percent growth.

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