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Stocks pause near record; crude oil pares tumble: markets wrap

Large US technology stocks rose.
Image: Qilai Shen/Bloomberg

A rally in global stocks paused near a record Tuesday as concern China is curtailing loan growth curbed optimism stoked by the US economic rebound, which pushed the S&P 500 to an all-time high. Oil steadied.

An Asia-Pacific share gauge dipped for the first day in four, led by losses in Japan. S&P 500 equity futures were slightly in the red, while European contracts pointed higher. The US index rallied Monday with most of its major groups advancing. Large US technology stocks rose, including a surge by Facebook Inc. to a new peak as the Nasdaq 100 jumped 2%.

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In China, the central bank asked the nation’s major lenders to curtail loan growth for the rest of this year, according to people familiar with the matter. Australia’s monetary authority left its key policy settings unchanged and said it’s monitoring trends in housing borrowing as home prices rise.

Credit Suisse Group AG said it will take a 4.4 billion franc ($4.7 billion) writedown tied to the implosion of Archegos Capital Management and replace two top executives. The bank unloaded about $2.3 billion worth of stocks tied to the family office more than a week after some rivals dumped their shares and skirted losses.

US data continued to highlight an economic pickup as more Americans are vaccinated against the coronavirus, restrictions are rolled back and fiscal relief takes hold. US service providers had the fastest growth on record in March as orders jumped to new highs. But other parts of the world are still struggling to curb the pandemic and are lagging behind in inoculations.

“It looks like spectacular US data has a few caveats that apply to the ‘tide lifting all boats’ assumption,” said Vishnu Varathan, head of economics and strategy at Mizuho Bank Ltd. in Singapore. “For one, there is a sense that vaccine differentials could just mean an uneven recovery. Worse, it could also mean having to deal with higher US Treasury yields in a more fragile state,” especially for emerging markets, he said.

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen reiterated her view that the $1.9 trillion US pandemic-relief bill signed last month won’t stoke inflationary pressures, and suggested that low interest rates will continue to prevail in coming years. She also outlined the case for a harmonised corporate tax rate across the world’s major economies in her first major speech on international economic policy.

Separately, a ruling that opens the door to passing multiple additional bills this year without any Republican support may bolster the prospects for President Joe Biden’s economic agenda.

Oil rebounded as expectations of a breakthrough in talks to revive an Iranian nuclear accord were scaled back, reducing the odds that crude flows from the country would pick up further.

Some key events to watch this week:

  • The 2021 Spring Meetings of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank Group take place virtually. US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen is among the participants of a climate discussion on Tuesday. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell takes part in a panel about the global economy on Thursday.
  • The Fed publishes minutes from its March meeting on Wednesday.
  • Japan releases its balance of payments numbers Thursday.
  • China’s consumer and producer prices data are due Friday.

These are some of the main moves in markets:

Stocks

  • S&P 500 futures dipped 0.1% as of 7:08 a.m. in London. The S&P 500 rose 1.4%. Nasdaq 100 futures were little changed.
  • Japan’s Topix index lost 1.5%.
  • Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 index rose 0.8%.
  • South Korea’s Kospi index added 0.2%.
  • China’s Shanghai Composite Index fell 0.2%.
  • Euro Stoxx 50 futures rose 0.8%.

Currencies

  • The yen traded at 110.19 per dollar.
  • The offshore yuan was at 6.5529 per dollar.
  • The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index was little changed.
  • The euro was at $1.1812.

Bonds

  • The yield on 10-year Treasuries dipped one basis point to 1.69%.
  • Australia’s 10-year bond yield fell six basis points to 1.78%.

Commodities

  • West Texas Intermediate crude rose 1.2% to $59.34 a barrel. It tumbled 4.6% in the previous session.
  • Gold added 0.5% to $1 737.24 an ounce.
© 2021 Bloomberg

COMMENTS   1

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Dear Moneyweb – will you also delete this post (like the previous one) – if I said I don’t agree with Bloomberg’s view, and that the market will reach new highs- soon?

I have also noticed, that my posts are being ringfenced and kept for hours before, the ones that make it, are posted.

It’s time to make a decision Moneyweb – if you want me disbarred, just let me know- you have got my contact details!

End of comments.

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