London — A drop in the number of new coronavirus cases and the US Federal Reserve chair’s optimistic view of the economy lifted world stocks for a third day on Wednesday and sparked a 2% rally in oil prices, on hopes the epidemic’s effects would be contained.

China reported its lowest number of new coronavirus cases since late January, lending weight to a prediction from its senior medical adviser that the outbreak might be over by April. A continued decline in new cases would keep the epidemic from doing as much economic damage as initially feared...

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