Oil rebounds, Gold is up, and a $500 billion US aid package is on the way

By Meagan Evans. Published at Apr 24, 2020, in Features

Markets were mixed on Thursday as investors weighed a rebound in oil prices and prospects for further government stimulus against stark economic data showing the toll of the coronavirus pandemic.

In the US, the S&P 500 started out strong only to close slightly lower, down 0.05% at 2797.8, the Nasdaq Composite slipped 0.01% to 8494.75, while the Dow Jones gained 0.17% to end the day at 23,515.26.

Weighing on the market was news that Gilead Science has terminated a Chinese study after results showed that its remdesivir did not improve COVID-19 patients' condition or reduce the pathogen's presence in the bloodstream.

The market was encouraged a week ago by a report that COVID-19 patients had responded positively to remdesivir in a separate study.

Another 4.4 million people filed for unemployment benefits in the week to 18 April, bringing the total US jobless claims figure to more than 26 million since the pandemic began. This translates roughly to a 15% unemployment rate.

After the market close, US Congress delivered a nearly $US500 billion aid package to support small businesses and hospitals that have struggled amidst the coronavirus pandemic.

The manufacturing and service sectors could also use some help, with the flash service PMI falling to record lows and the manufacturing PMI dropping to its lowest level in 11 years as business activity has slumped due to the lockdowns to combat the coronavirus pandemic.

US coronavirus deaths topped 49,000 on Thursday as the number of lives lost in April rises by an average of 2,000 a day, according to a Reuters tally. At that rate, US deaths will reach 50,000 no later than Friday.

The total number of US cases was approaching 860,000 with many states yet to report on Thursday.

This compares with 75 deaths and close to 7,000 cases in Australia, while the global toll has reached nearly 189,000 deaths and 2.7 million cases.

European markets showed some strength with the FTSE 100 gaining 55.98 points to close up 0.97% at 5826 points.

The DAX was up 0.95% to 10,513 points, while the CAC 40 gained 0.89% pushing it to a close of 4451.

Spot gold added 1.0% to $1,730.50 an ounce. U.S. gold futures gained 0.73% to $1,733.30 an ounce as supplies tighten amid rising concerns over the longer-term economic impact of the pandemic.

Oil prices were higher with Brent crude gaining 8.4% to $US22.09 per barrel and U.S. Oil gained 27.2% to $US17.53 per barrel.

Iron ore was weaker, down 0.7% to $US84.46 per tonne.

The local market yesterday

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 (ASX:XJO) ended the day yesterday down 4.1 points, or 0.1%, to 5217.1. The index had been up more than 1% earlier in the day before healthcare and bank stocks dragged on the index, locking in the fourth day of losses.

All four of the big banks ended the day lower, while in healthcare CSL lost 2% to $306.67, Cochlear slid by 1.4% to $179.34 and Ramsay Healthcare slumped 5.9% after a capital raising.

The ASX SPI200 suggests the market will open higher 12 points this morning at 5206.

Yesterday marked a month since the local market reached its lowest level since 2012 of 4546 on March 23 and there is speculation that it could head back towards those levels.

View Our Investment Portfolios

S3 Consortium Pty Ltd (CAR No.433913) is a corporate authorised representative of LeMessurier Securities Pty Ltd (AFSL No. 296877). The information contained in this article is general information only. Any advice is general advice only. Neither your personal objectives, financial situation nor needs have been taken into consideration. Accordingly you should consider how appropriate the advice (if any) is to those objectives, financial situation and needs, before acting on the advice.

Conflict of Interest Notice

S3 Consortium Pty Ltd does and seeks to do business with companies featured in its articles. As a result, investors should be aware that the Firm may have a conflict of interest that could affect the objectivity of this article. Investors should consider this article as only a single factor in making any investment decision. The publishers of this article also wish to disclose that they may hold this stock in their portfolios and that any decision to purchase this stock should be done so after the purchaser has made their own inquires as to the validity of any information in this article.

Publishers Notice

The information contained in this article is current at the finalised date. The information contained in this article is based on sources reasonably considered to be reliable by S3 Consortium Pty Ltd, and available in the public domain. No “insider information” is ever sourced, disclosed or used by S3 Consortium.

Australian ASX Small Cap stocks | Why Finfeed.com is Australia’s leading small cap publication

Founded seven years ago, Finfeed.com is Australia’s leading and longest standing website for investor and finance news, education and expert opinion.

Published by StocksDigital, Finfeed was created to report daily on the comings and goings of ASX listed stocks in the small cap market.

As the first digital publication dedicated specifically to this space, Finfeed soon became the most trusted publication in the market, quickly garnering over two million page views – a number that continues to rise.

Finfeed.com provides its readers with informative articles that tackle the latest in market moving #ASX small cap news, plus exclusive content you won’t find anywhere else. It is aimed at those with an interest in investing, market education, company performance, start-ups and much more.

Finfeed.com is the only media organisation operating under the strength of a Financial Services License and is backed by leading journalists and analysts all with brands of their own.

The website aims to inform, educate and entertain with content that drills down into the heart of financial matters.

Finfeed is a leading source of investor and market information, with everything investors need to know about how to invest written in a way that anyone can understand. 

Over the years, the website has expanded beyond exclusively reporting on small caps, to profile Australia’s leading ASX listed small, mid and large caps as well as some of the country’s most successful CEOs and business leaders to find out what makes them tick.

Every day you will find fresh content covering:

Fast Facts

Over 4,000 articles published

Over 2.3 Million Page Views and counting

Over 10,000 followers on social media

Subscriber list growing by 2% monthly

Thanks for subscribing!