Still, markets haven’t yet seen the full extent of the pandemic’s economic toll. U.S. jobless claims due later in the day are expected to show near-record-level unemployment in the world’s largest economy.
Social distancing rules around the globe, in response to the coronavirus, have battered business activity and led the global economy towards a deep recession.
The MSCI’s developing-world stocks index rose more than 1% for the day and was set for its best week in four years. Currencies added 0.3% for the day, headed for their best week in nearly 10 months.
Markets were also hoping a meeting of the world’s largest oil producers later in the day would lead to cuts in production. Oil prices rose in anticipation.
“Sentiment in markets continues to shift like a yo-yo, but signs that the coronavirus curve continues to flatten in the worst affected countries are very positive,” Stephen Innes, chief market strategist at financial services firm AxiCorp wrote in a note.
“Equities continue to rally and with a lot of cash on the sidelines, provided the COVID-19 data proves reliable; this move can have legs even more so if OPEC and friends formulate a credible response that puts a floor under oil price.”
Russia’s rouble rose about 0.5% on Thursday, while stocks added about 0.9%. Markets were looking to an end in the oil-price war between Saudi Arabia and Russia, which caused prices to plunge last month.
The Saudi Arabian riyal was flat on the day. Stocks added about 1%.
South Africa’s rand rose to a one-week high, continuing its recovery from a record low earlier in the week. The country’s stocks added about 1.8%.
Currencies in Hungary, Poland and the Czech Republic rose 0.1% to 0.7% before euro zone finance ministers meet on a joint fiscal response to curb the economic shock from the coronavirus.