European Markets Mostly Higher Thursday 

Europe’s major stock indexes were mostly trading in positive territory Thursday, continuing the upswing enjoyed earlier in the day in Asia. London’s FTSE and the DAX index in Frankfurt were both trading at or above one-half of one percent, while Paris’s CAC-40 was slightly lower in mid-morning trading.  A currency trader walks by the screen showing the Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) at the foreign exchange dealing room in Seoul, South Korea, April 9, 2020.The good news in Europe was a spillover from Asia’s big rally, with Australia, Hong Kong, Seoul, and Shanghai all posting gains at the end of their trading sessions. Japan’s Nikkei index, however, lost a fraction of one percent as the country faces an increasing number of confirmed COVID-19 infections.   In U.S. futures trading, the Dow Jones, S&P and Nasdaq were all trading lower as investors brace for yet another report of huge unemployment claims from the U.S. Labor Department.  Oil markets improved Thursday, with U.S. crude oil gaining 3% to finish over $25 per barrel, while Brent crude oil, the international standard, rose nearly 2%, to settle at over $33 per barrel.  Investors are hopeful that Thursday’s meeting between OPEC members and Russia will lead to a deal to curb production, which has created a glut of supplies as demand has plunged due to the pandemic.     

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