Increasing optimism that a roll back of virus containment measures is imminent lifted shares and base metals in overnight trading. Falling infection and fatality rates are a key to the rising expectations.

Coming on top the beginning of recovery in the Chinese economy, New Zealand announced last week an easing of restrictions from level 4 to level 3. Overnight the US President returned to the theme of “gradually” re-opening America, and this morning the Premier of Australia’s most populous state announced small groups would be allowed to meet in homes from this weekend.

These small steps towards normalisation, and unprecedented support from central banks, were enough to see European and American investors continue the rally which began in the Asia Pacific region yesterday.

Not everyone is on board the re-opening train. The UK Prime Minister stated the nation was turning the tide, but that “now is the moment of maximum risk”. Singapore’s Minister for National Development pointed out that scaling up testing is a key to moving beyond the “circuit breaker” phase. Very modest falls in bond and gold prices suggest many investors are sticking with their safer haven assets for now.

Commodity currencies featured during northern hemisphere trading. The Australian dollar continued its ascent against the Euro, and broke to seven-week highs against the US dollar and Japanese yen. The gains defied another rout in oil markets as West Texas Intermediate dropped 25% and Brent crude fell below $20 a barrel.

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