London: Global equities surged Friday as reports of encouraging trials for a possible coronavirus drug injected optimism into investors.
Asian indices posted healthy gains also as official data showed the fatal COVID-19 pandemic had not hit China's economy as badly as some had feared.
However, WTI oil prices tanked to $18.03 per barrel to strike a fresh 18-year low point, punished by crude oversupply and virus-hit weak energy demand.
Wall Street rose overnight after President Donald Trump laid out guidelines for a phased reopening of the US lockdown.
After the closing bell in New York, reports emerged of encouraging trials for potential coronavirus drug remdesivir, made by US biotech firm Gilead Sciences.
"Reports that a Gilead drug is producing encouraging results in clinical trials is also giving risk sentiment a lift," said City Index anlayst Fiona Cincotta.
"Any successful treatment drug would essentially mean that economies can reopen more quickly, good news for a rebound. Without this, any recovery is expected to be more drawn out."
The overnight trial reports gave a shot in the arm to jumpy global equities. In late March, Gilead had faced calls to not enforce exclusivity over the drug....