NEW YORK (AFP) – Wall Street opened higher on Monday (April 6) as traders took heart from news of falling coronavirus death rates in hard-hit countries even as US cases were poised to spike.

The IMF noted early signs of a recovery in the world’s second-largest economy China, including rising pollution levels, but news that a meeting of top oil producers had been delayed sent oil prices slumping.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 5 per cent, a gain of of 22,113.97 about 45 minutes into the trading session.

The broad-based S&P 500 climbed 4.8 per cent to 2,607.07, while the tech-rich Nasdaq also gained, opening up 4.7 per cent to 7,717.70.

US authorities warned over the weekend that the coming days would be tough for already hard-pressed American healthcare providers, but early signs have emerged that the virus may be slowing in New York, the current US epicentre.

Italy over the weekend reported its lowest death toll in two weeks and France its fewest dead in a week, while Spain recorded lower fatalities for a fourth straight day Monday.

But investors hoping for relief from a glut of oil that sent prices tumbling were disappointed, as a planned teleconference of Opec crude producers and key non-OPEC members aimed at easing the oversupply was pushed back to Thursday from Monday.

There also were lingering doubts that the suggested 10 million barrels per-day cut would not be enough to support prices.

That sent oil trending down in New York trading, with Brent at $33.36 a barrel, and West Texas Intermediate at $27.32.