European, US stocks gain as traders mull recovery, virus spike

European and US stock markets rebounded Tuesday, as investors brushed aside losses in Asia and weighed the strong economic recovery against rises in virus cases.

The dollar made solid gains against the euro and pound as renewed virus curbs saw moves to safer assets.

Dollar-denominated oil prices gained after the previous day's sharp losses, which had been driven by concerns that fresh lockdowns would dampen demand.

OPEC and other major producers will decide to lift output at their meeting this week.

With news of US President Joe Biden's bipartisan infrastructure deal having run its course and inflation worries continuing to linger, traders are looking to key US jobs data later in the week and the beginning of corporate earnings season next month for inspiration.

On Wall Street, the Nasdaq and S&P 500 each clocked up fresh records Monday, helped by a fresh bump in tech firms, and the Dow Jones index was higher in early trading on Tuesday as well.

But Asian stocks retreated as the more contagious Delta virus variant sent infection rates soaring, in turn forcing governments to try and prevent another deadly wave of the disease.

"European stocks are pushing higher on Tuesday, following on from record highs reached on Wall Street, but (there was) a more subdued session in Asia as Covid cases rise," noted Oanda market analyst Sophie Griffiths.

In Australia, the cities of Sydney, Perth, Brisbane and Darwin have all been put into lockdown, with leaders in the country also struggling to get its inoculation programme up to speed.

The disease has led to similar measures in South Africa, while Russia, parts of Asia, Europe and South America have also witnessed worrying spikes.

Meanwhile, a surge in Britain, which has one of the most successful vaccination rollouts in the world, has caused a number of other countries to ban flights from there or put up strict quarantine rules.

The developments have raised concerns that the forecast global recovery could be knocked off course or at least slowed.