Asian stocks and US equity futures rose Tuesday on wagers that vaccines can help tame the omicron virus outbreak and signs that President Joe Biden could yet revive his $2 trillion economic agenda.
MSCI Inc.’s Asia-Pacific share gauge snapped a two-session drop, bolstered by a rebound in Japan and a rally in Chinese property developers. S&P 500, Nasdaq 100 and European contracts were in the green, signaling stabilisation after a global equity index dropped the most this month on Monday.
Treasury yields and the dollar were little changed, while commodity-linked currencies stabilised. Crude oil and iron ore pushed higher. In digital assets, Bitcoin rallied to climb past the $48 000 level.
Turkey’s lira extended a surge sparked by extraordinary government measures to bolster the currency.
Investors are trying to evaluate to what extent the omicron flareup will disrupt global economic reopening and parsing the US fiscal stimulus outlook. Those risks, along with tightening monetary policy, have whipsawed markets of late.
“There is more uncertainty than I think most people thought we would see here as they were anticipating a Santa Claus rally,” Victoria Fernandez, Crossmark Global Investments chief market strategist, said on Bloomberg Television. “Volatility and uncertainty are the key terms that will lead us into the new year.”
Moderna Inc. became the latest vaccine maker to say that a third dose of its Covid-19 shot increased antibody levels against omicron, underscoring the range of coronavirus treatments now available.
Biden, meanwhile, hasn’t given up on his roughly $2 trillion Build Back Better economic plan after Senator Joe Manchin rejected it. Manchin on Monday outlined possible changes that might draw his support, saying he could back a revised $1.75 trillion bill.
Mobility curbs to stem the coronavirus risk exacerbating pandemic-era supply chain and labor snarls that have stoked inflation and prompted central banks to tighten monetary settings.
“Monetary policy normalization will continue to bring volatility and will maintain the bull-bear debate between growth and value,” said Zehrid Osmani, Martin Currie’s head of global long-term unconstrained equities. “The omicron variant may disrupt both economic momentum and monetary policies, should it lead to renewed significant lockdown measures.”
In the latest virus developments, omicron accounted for 73% of all Covid-19 infections last week in the US New Zealand is pushing back the phased reopening of its border until the end of February. Daily infections in South Africa, where omicron was first identified, almost halved, though hospital admissions and deaths rose significantly.
What to watch this week:
- EIA crude oil inventory report Wednesday
- Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda speaks Thursday
- US consumer income, new home sales, US durable goods, University of Michigan consumer sentiment, initial jobless claims. Thursday
- Friday: US markets are closed. European markets close earlier
Some of the main moves in markets:
- S&P 500 futures rose 0.8% as of 6:14 a.m. in London. The S&P 500 fell 1.1%
- Nasdaq 100 futures rose 1.1%. The Nasdaq 100 fell 1.1%
- Japan’s Topix index climbed 1.5%
- Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index added 0.9%
- South Korea’s Kospi index rose 0.5%
- Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index rose 0.9%
- China’s Shanghai Composite Index increased 0.9%
- Euro Stoxx 50 futures climbed 1.3%
- The Japanese yen slipped 0.1% to 113.75 per dollar
- The offshore yuan traded at 6.3776 per dollar, up 0.1%
- The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index was steady
- The euro was at $1.1280
- The yield on 10-year Treasuries climbed about one basis point to 1.43%
- Australia’s 10-year bond yield increased about six basis points to 1.60%
- West Texas Intermediate crude rose 1.6% to $69.73 a barrel
- Gold was at $1 790.81 an ounce