Global markets follow Wall St higher as virus fears recede

BEIJING (AP) — Global stock markets followed Wall Street higher Thursday for a second day as optimism about an economic recovery appeared to outweigh concern over rising coronavirus cases and inflation.

Market benchmarks in Frankfurt, Shanghai and Hong Kong advanced. London opened down less than 0.1%. Japanese markets were closed for a holiday.

Wall Street futures rose after the S&P 500 index climbed 0.8% overnight. That put it on track for a weekly gain after rebounding from Monday's 1.6% loss.

Investors are wavering between optimism about a global recovery and unease that it might be delayed by the spread of the virus's more contagious delta variant. They also worry central bankers might feel pressure to tame rising inflation by rolling back easy credit.

“The delta variant remains an ever-present downside risk for the markets in the near-term," said Craig Erlam of Oanda in a report, “but as long as inflation remains only a temporary problem, it also keeps central bank hawks at bay."