Stocks mixed as US agrees on $2tn coronavirus stimulus package

Edmund Heaphy
Finance and news reporter
US treasury secretary Steven Mnuchin during negotiations on a $2tn coronavirus stimulus package. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Stocks across the world were mixed on Wednesday after US lawmakers and the Trump administration came to an agreement on a sweeping $2tn (£1.65tn) stimulus package designed to curb the economic fallout of the coronavirus pandemic.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index (^STOXX), which rose by a record 8.4% on Tuesday amid increasing optimism about the stimulus measures, was down by around 0.4%.

London’s FTSE 100 (^FTSE) rose by around 1.1%, while France’s CAC 40 (^FCHI) was on the level.

Germany’s DAX (^GDAXI), which had its best day since 2008 on Tuesday, fell by around 2%.

In the US, the S&P 500 (^GSPC) was up by just 0.2%, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average (^DJI), which has its best day since 1933 on Tuesday, climbed by around 1.5%.

Shares on the Nasdaq (^IXIC) were down by around 0.6%.

Early on Wednesday morning, US senators Mitch McConnell and Chuck Schumer announced the far-reaching provisions, which are set to form the largest economic stimulus package in modern American history.

Read more: Here’s what’s in the $2tn US stimulus deal for businesses

“This is a wartime level of investment into our nation,” McConnell said.

The measures include billions in dollars to fight the crisis, $1,200 in government checks to individuals, and over half a trillion dollars for businesses impacted by the pandemic.

“It was perhaps always going to be tough to maintain the pace of gains seen on Tuesday. It isn’t a great sign, however, that there are patches of red on Wednesday despite the $2tn stimulus package agreement in the US,” said Conor Campbell, a financial analyst at Spreadex.

Read more: UK shoppers warned food prices could rise despite drop in inflation

The mixed picture in Europe and the US followed a strong trading session in Asia.

The S&P BSE Sensex Index (^BSESN) in India, where 1.3 billion people have gone into lockdown, climbed by more than 6.3%.

China’s SSE Composite Index (^SSEC) rose by more than 2.1% on Wednesday, while the Hang Seng (^HSI) was up by around 3.8% in Hong Kong at market close.

Japan’s Nikkei (^N225) rose by around 8%, while the KOSPI Composite Index (^KOSPI) in South Korea closed almost 5.9% in the green. Australia’s ASX 200 (^AXJO) rose by more than 5.5%.