Most stocks in Asia rose with US and European futures, and the euro gained Thursday after Russia resumed sending gas to Europe through a key pipeline, alleviating some investor concerns.
Japan and Australia ended in the green, putting an Asian stock gauge on track for a fourth consecutive gain. The resumption of flows through Nord Stream is set to provide some relief for the continent that’s racing to store the fuel before the winter.
The euro gained ahead of a European Central Bank meeting where it is expected to hike for the first time in more than a decade, almost certainly raising rates by 25 basis points. It will also unveil its new crisis management tool. The dollar edged lower.
The yen was steady. The Bank of Japan maintained its policy rate and lowered its economic growth forecast for this year. Treasuries were steady. Gold was near an 11-month low.
Bitcoin dropped below $23 000. Tesla Inc. disclosed that it sold about 75% of holdings of the cryptocurrency during the second quarter.
Risk sentiment remains fragile as investors debate whether equities have reached a trough after this year’s selloff amid the war in Ukraine, a slowdown in China and the prospect of a US recession. Investors are also assessing earnings to gauge how companies are managing amid the highest inflation in generations and escalating borrowing costs.
Many stocks “are still in very distinct downtrends so you can see a rally off maybe an oversold level but really if you are not starting to recover and break into a better uptrend it really remains to be seen if this can continue,” said Cameron Dawson, NewEdge Wealth chief investment officer. “So it’s more a relief at this point and not necessarily a trend change.”
Geopolitics are adding to investors’ skittishness. Russian President Vladimir Putin has warned that unless a spat over sanctioned parts of the Nord Stream pipeline is resolved, flows will be tightly curbed, and some European countries are telling residents to conserve gas.
While the market may have incorporated a lot of global economic growth downgrades, “it certainly isn’t helpful for some forms of risk sentiment and perhaps business confidence as well,” John Vail, the chief global strategist at Nikko Asset Management Co., said on Bloomberg Television.
China’s markets came under renewed pressure as the nation’s credit market is rocked by more debt delays, and junk dollar bonds hovered near record lows.
Meanwhile, US President Joe Biden said he expects to speak to Chinese leader Xi Jinping “within the next 10 days” as Washington considers lifting some tariffs on Chinese imports.
Oil was back below $100 a barrel as growing stockpiles of crude and gasoline tempered fears of a tight market.
Key events to watch this week:
- European Central Bank rate decisions. Thursday
Some of the main moves in markets:
- S&P 500 futures added 0.2% as of 7:21 a.m. in London. The S&P 500 rose 0.6%
- Nasdaq 100 futures climbed 0.2%. The Nasdaq 100 rose 1.6%
- Topix index rose 0.2%
- Kospi index added 1.1%
- Hang Seng Index fell 0.7%
- Shanghai Composite Index shed 0.4%
- Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index added 0.5%
- Euro Stoxx 50 futures gained 0.4%
- The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index fell 0.2%
- The euro was at $1.0227, up 0.5%
- The Japanese yen was steady at 138.24 per dollar
- The offshore yuan was at 6.7634 per dollar, up 0.2%
- The yield on 10-year Treasuries was at 3.03%
- Australia’s 10-year bond yield rose two basis points to 3.56%
- West Texas Intermediate crude fell 0.6% to $99.29 a barrel
- Gold was at $1 692.53 an ounce, down 0.2%