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  • The S&P 500 futures rise as New York’s virus-related death toll slows. 
  • Oil prices are trading in the red due to delay in Russia-Saudi Arabia meeting. 

The US stock futures advanced on Monday alongside gains in the Asian equity markets as the coronavirus death toll in Italy and some other worst-hit countries in the world dropped on Sunday. 

At press time, futures tied to the S&P 500, Wall Street’s equity index, are reporting over 3% gains. Meanwhile, major Asian indices like Japan’s Nikkei, South Korea’s Kospi are flashing 3% and 2.5% gains, respectively. Stocks in Australia are also up more than 2% on the day. 

While the number of deaths in New York climbed to 4,159 on Sunday, the number of reported fatalities were 594 compared to 630 the day before. Elsewhere, Italy’s death toll fell to lowest in two weeks on Saturday, while that in Spain grew by 674 on Sunday versus 809 on Saturday according to CNBC. 

The slowdown in the death rate is encouraging, but it is too soon to ay whether the changes are indicative of a trend, as noted by New York’s governor Andrew Cuomo. 

While equities are better bid, oil benchmarks are a sea of red. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) is currently down more than 5.5% and Brent oil is shedding 6% of its value, possibly due to decision by Saudi Arabia and Russia to tentatively shift the meeting to Thursday instead of Monday. 

The meeting will be convened later this week to forge a truce on output and stabilize the battered oil prices.