Wed, 08 Apr 2020

NEW YORK, New York - U. S. stocks were solidly higher on Wednesday. The dollar too made good ground, particularly against teh Japanese yen and sterling.

While the number of coronavirus deaths cruised past the 2,000 level, there were signs the disease may have peaked as the reporting of new cases appear to be in decline.

"The coronavirus is the top headline these days and the growth in new cases, evidently, has slowed," Tim Ghriskey, chief investment strategist at Inverness Counsel told Reuters Thomson Wednesday.

"Perhaps we've seen the worst of it, at least in terms of the growth rate of new cases," he said, noting there are signs of workers heading back to factories.

Fears of a looming recession in Japan put major pressure on the yen which surprisingly sank below the 111.00 level.

At the close of trading Wednesday, the Dow Jones was 115.84 points or 0.40% higher at 29,348.03.

The Standard and Poor's 500 rose 15.86 points or 0.47% to 3,386.15.

The Nasdaq Composite was 84.44 points or 0.87% higher at 9,817.18.

On foreign currency markets the Japanese yen was down more than a cent to 111.23. The British pound fell sharply on fears of a hard Brexit. It was last quoted at 1.2923. The Swiss franc eased to 0.9836.

The Canadian dollar was a fraction stronger at 1.3227 or 0.7560.

The Australian dollar was lower at 0.6677 as was the New Zealand dollar at 0.6382.

Overseas, the German Dax rose 0.79%. In Paris, the CAC 40 gained 0.90%. London's FTSE 100 was up 1.02%.

On Asian markets, the Nikkei 225 in Japan was ahead 219.21 points or 0.95% at 23,413.01.

The Australian All Ords was 29.10 points or 0.40% higher at 7,237.40.

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng advanced 125.61 points or 0.46% to 27,655.81.

China's Shanghai Composite went against the trend, losing 9.,57 points or 0.32% to 2,975.40.

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