NEW YORK : World Stocks, euro-rise on recovery hopes. Gold rebounds on deteriorating US-China relations.

Equity markets climbed on Thursday as more businesses returned to work and as a Euro750-billion stimulus plan in Europe lifted regional stock indices and the euro, but gold rebounded on deteriorating US-China relations.

Oil prices were flat to slightly lower as the market awaited confirmation of industry data that on Wednesday showed a surprise increase in US crude stocks, which offset hopes for a demand recovery as coronavirus linked lockdowns ease.

Gold jumped 1% on safehaven demand as a US-Sino rift deepened over further moves by Beijing to impose a national security law on Hong Kong. But equity and bond markets largely ignored the standoff.

China's parliament approved the nationals security legislation for Hong Kong that democracy activists say could erode the territory's freedom and jeopardise its role as role as global financial hub.

Investors have largely turned a blind eye to renewed US US-China tensions and instead are focused on the reopening of business activity., said Candice Bangsund, a global asset allocation portfolio manger at Fiera Capital in Montreal.

''Stocks have maintained that positive momentum largely reflecting optimism that growth will recover as Covid-19 lockdown are eased and economies progressively reopen,'' Bangsund said.

In Europe the pan-regional Stock 600 index rose to 1.42% to a fresh 11-week high on the European Union's plan to prop up the block's coronavirus-hit economies with the Euro750 billion [$828 billion] recovery fund.

The euro rose 0.4% to $1,1047, a two-month high. The dollar index fell 0.248%. Stocks on Wall Street rose, though less than Europe. [Reuters].


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