European markets reversed course Wednesday after two days of gains, as optimism about the trend of the coronavirus pandemic was tempered with news of a mounting death toll.
Britain's FTSE, the CAC-40 in Paris and the DAX in Frankfurt were all trending down over 1% by late Wednesday afternoon. The selloff followed Asia's mixed trading session, which ended with losses in Australia, Hong Kong, Seoul and Shanghai, while Japan's Nikkei index closed 2% higher.
But the Dow Jones, S&P 500 and NASDAQ futures markets were all trending upward, while prices on oil markets were also on the rebound. U.S. crude oil futures surged past $25 a barrel Wednesday, after losing 9.4% the day before, while Brent crude, the international standard, gained just over $1 to finish past $32 per barrel.
Financial markets had rallied over the past two days over cautious optimism over a decline of new infections and deaths in some countries. But Tuesday saw an increase in deaths and new COVID-19 cases in Britain, France, some eastern European countries, Sweden, Japan and the United States.
Close to 1.5 million COVID-19 cases have been confirmed worldwide and more than 82,000 have died from the disease.