New Zealand markets close in 5 hours 14 minutes

China stimulus hopes lift Wall Street

BROADCAST AND DIGITAL RESTRICTIONS~**

Broadcasters: NONE Digital: *NONE*~

A bounce-back on Wall Street Wednesday as investors bet China's central bank will offer up fresh economic stimulus to offset damage caused by the coronavirus outbreak.

The Dow picked up more than 100 points, while the S&P 500 and Nasdaq rallied to close at new record highs.

Liz Miller, president of Summit Place Financial Advisors, says there is an upward bias to this market.

SOUNDBITE (ENGLISH): LIZ MILLER, PRESIDENT, SUMMIT PLACE FINANCIAL ADVISORS, SAYING:

"I think the coronavirus continues to be a huge unknown. I think the market is taking a wait and see attitude but I do think it is wait and see. I don't think what the market is saying is 'this isn't a problem.' I think the market is saying: 'we are still going to lean towards a positive bias but we need to watch this carefully.'

Wall Street isn't alone in keeping watch. The International Monetary Fund warned the coronavirus outbreak threatens to disrupt a fragile global economy this year.

And the Federal Reserve is keeping its eye on the coronavirus as well, according to the release of minutes from its January meeting. Policymakers, however, believe the U.S. economy will remain in good enough shape to keep interest rates right where they are.

Looking at individual stock action: Virgin Galactic appears to be Wall Street's newest cult stock. Richard Branson's space exploration company surged 23 percent Wednesday and is up more than 400 percent since early December. Investors are making a bet on the future of space tourism with a company that has never turned a profit.