Global markets rally as China eases Covid restrictions

Oil prices also jumped on news of a possible end to Beijing’s stringent pandemic policy
Global markets rally as China eases Covid restrictions

European stocks and US index futures rallied on Friday, trading figures show, after China lifted some of its strict anti-Covid measures.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 was up 0.7% in early trading, having risen for a second day in a row, taking its weekly gain to 4.2%. The gains were led by consumer, commodity, and technology stocks.

US futures rose early on Friday, with the Dow, the S&P 500, and the Nasdaq gaining between 0.5% and 0.9%.

In an apparent easing of its stringent zero-Covid rules, Beijing reduced quarantine time for international travelers from five to two days, and removed a major restriction on international flights, among other measures, according to Chinese state media.

American pundits have got it backwards about China

The announcement also drove oil prices up, with both benchmarks, WTI and Brent, jumping by about 3%.

The markets were also enthused by a drop in inflation in the US from 8.2% in September to 7.7% in October year-on-year, with some traders apparently hopeful of a possible easing of the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy. According to Bloomberg, however, those expectations may be misplaced as the central bank aims to bring inflation down to its target of 2%.

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