World Shares Climb on Oil Price Gain

BANGKOK (AP) -- Shares rose in Europe on Thursday, tracking gains in Asia and on Wall Street as oil prices jumped.

Moves to reopen economies shut down to help curb the coronavirus pandemic helped boost oil prices, with the U.S. benchmark jumping 9.7%.

Shares rose in Paris, London and Hong Kong. Markets in Tokyo, Shanghai and Seoul were closed for holidays.

Many European countries that have seen new infections tapering off amid strict social distancing measures and nationwide lockdowns have begun relaxing some restrictions while watching to see whether numbers began to rise again. In Asia, China and South Korea were slowly resuming public events after months of containment efforts.

Meanwhile, the U.S. is taking halting steps to lift some restrictions imposed amid its outbreaks, even as thousands of new cases are reported each day.

“It is hard to be a raging pessimist when lockdowns are lifting in the next few weeks," Stephen Innes of AxiCorp said in a commentary.

Germany's DAX jumped 1.7% to 10,643.76, while the CAC 40 in Paris surged 2% to 4,465.47. Britain's FTSE 100 advanced 1.2% to 5,820.09. Wall Street looked poised to extend gains, with the future for the S&P 500 up 0.8% and the future for the Dow industrials adding 0.9%.

Moves toward restarting economies stalled by lockdowns have raised hopes for a recovery in demand for oil, among other commodities. Crude prices plunged last month as a price war between Russia and other oil producers further roiled the market. At one point, U.S. benchmark crude was priced so low that producers would have been paying customers to take the oil away.

U.S. benchmark crude added $1.98 to 22.37 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It climbed 61 cents on Monday to $29.05. The price of U.S. crude started the year at about $60 per barrel. Its decline is crushing many American producers.

Brent crude, the standard for international pricing, picked up $1.85 to $28.78 per barrel.

“The feeling on the floor is that energy is in a better spot, and while it’s not brilliant, the supply/demand equation is starting to shift in a more positive direction," Chris Weston of Pepperstone said in a report.

Interest was shifting to July futures for U.S. crude, Weston said. The current benchmark is for June delivery.

“Brent crude is also having a better time of it and the $30-level is a clear target," he said.

In share trading, Hong Kong's Hang Seng added 1.1% to 23,868.66 as the government said it would relax some social distancing measures, allowing certain businesses such as gyms, cinemas and beauty salons to re-open and doubling the number of individuals allowed at public gatherings to a maximum of eight.

In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 climbed 1.6% to 5,407.10 as the central bank kept its benchmark interest rate at a record low 0.25%. India's Sensex bounced back from a plunge on Monday to gain 0.3% to 31,805.25. Singapore's benchmark jumped 1.6%, while Bangkok's fell 1.6%.

This is another busy week for markets, with a slew of corporate earnings reports due, including more than 150 companies in the S&P 500. On Friday, the government will also show how many jobs were lost during April.

In other trading, the yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 0.67% from 0.64% on Monday. It‘s still well below the 1.90% it yielded at the start of the year. Yields tend to fall when investors are downgrading their expectations for the economy and inflation.

The dollar was at 106.77 Japanese yen, up from 106.75 yen on Monday. The euro weakened to $1.0904 from $1.0860.