European stock markets opened sharply higher on Friday as more central banks adopted monetary and fiscal measures to deal with the economic downturn as a result of the Covid-19 outbreak.
Stocks in London jumped in early trading with the FTSE 100 index rising over five percent. Germany’s DAX is gaining over six percent, while French stocks are also up by over six percent.
The pan-European Stoxx 600 jumped 4.8 percent in early trade, with oil and gas stocks surging 8.5 percent to lead gains after oil prices enjoyed their strongest day ever on Thursday.
Asia-Pacific markets have also entered positive territory, led by almost five percent gains for both Hong Kong’s Hang Seng and South Korea’s Kospi. India’s Mumbai Sensex is gaining over four percent. China’s Shanghai Composite closed 1.61 percent higher.
After a volatile week of trading, global stocks have started recovering from their huge losses, with the US Dow Jones index rising 100 points on Thursday.
The stock market surge comes amid monetary and fiscal support from governments around the world. The European Central Bank, US Federal Reserve and the Bank of Japan have all announced stimulus packages to support the markets. The Bank of England has also launched a substantial bond-buying program this week and issued further emergency cuts to interest rates.
Europe is currently the epicenter of the global coronavirus pandemic, with the death toll in Italy surpassing 3,400, while infection cases are rising exponentially across the continent.