What to Watch: Stocks rebound, oil tensions, Deutsche Bank and ECB coronavirus cases

Tom Belger
Finance and policy reporter
Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange on 9 March. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Here are the top business, market and economic stories you should be watching today in the UK, Europe, and abroad.

Stocks recover after worst day since 2008

Stocks in Europe and Asia rebounded on Tuesday even after a country-wide lockdown came into force in Italy, with governments pledging to spend billions to tackle the economic impact of coronavirus.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index (^STOXX) rose by around 1.6%, following a strong trading session in Asia.

The boost to global equities followed Monday’s market turmoil, when stocks — prompted by fears of spiralling economic consequences from the virus — suffered their worst single-day loss since the 2008 financial crisis.

Read more: Calls for 'shock and awe' spending to avert global recession

The FTSE 100 (^FTSE) was up by around 2.5% in London on Tuesday. Germany’s DAX (^GDAXI) rose by around 1.7%, while France’s CAC 40 (^FCHI) was up by almost 2%.

Italy’s FTSE MIB Index (FTSEMIB.MI) climbed by more than 2.7%, just hours after prime minister Giuseppe Conte extended emergency coronavirus measures across the country, forcing tens of millions of Italians indoors.

China’s SSE Composite Index (^SSEC) climbed by 1.8% on Tuesday, while the Hang Seng (^HSI) was up 1.4% in Hong Kong at market close.

Japan’s Nikkei (^N225) climbed by 0.8%. The KOSPI Composite Index (^KOSPI) in South Korea closed almost 0.4% in the green.

Oil price recovers on stimulus hopes despite tensions

Oil prices rose on Tuesday on government stimulus hopes, a day after the biggest collapse in prices in a single day since the Gulf War.

Saudi Arabia and Russia’s decision to launch a price war over the weekend had sent oil prices tumbling, with crude oil plummeting 30% at the open in Asia on Monday.

Crude (CL=F) and brent (BZ=F) prices both then leapt on Tuesday morning in London. Analysts at Deutsche Bank said it was “not entirely clear” what was driving the rebound, but pointed to an announcement of stimulus measures by Donald Trump.

But Saudi Aramco’s announcement it will hike production to 12.3 million barrels a day on Tuesday dented the recovery. Bloomberg reports Russia’s energy minister responded within minutes, saying his country was able to boost production by 500,000 barrels a day.

Deutsche Bank, ECB and Halifax confirm coronavirus cases

A growing number of major organisations are reporting the coronavirus’ impact on their own staff.

German lender Deutsche Bank (DB) said it would spread its Frankfurt-based trading and sales teams across different buildings after a worker in Frankfurt tested positive for coronavirus.

The European Central Bank also confirmed its first coronavirus case in Frankfurt office on Monday evening. The ECB said that about 100 colleagues who had been in proximity to the infected staff member would now work from home, and that the bank was deep cleaning the relevant office.

Meanwhile a Halifax bank call centre in the UK has been closed for deep cleaning after a worker there tested positive for the COVID-19 virus.

Up to 1,000 people work at the call centre in the Gasworks area of Belfast city centre, Northern Ireland. Staff have been asked to self-isolate, work from home, or at a back-up site, according to PA Media. Halifax is part of Lloyds Banking Group (LLOY.L).

Ad Week Europe, one of the biggest events in the advertising industry, has also been postponed over the virus. It was due to take place in London next week.

What to expect in the US

Futures also point to a rebound on the open for US stocks on Friday.

S&P 500 futures (ES=F), Dow Jones Industrial Average futures (YM=F) and Nasdaq futures (NQ=F) are all up by more than 4%.

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