Stocks rise after Biden comments; dollar drops: markets wrap

Spot gold rose 0.4% to $1 853.20 an ounce.
Image: Bloomberg

Stocks advanced after President Joe Biden said China tariffs imposed by the Trump administration were under consideration. The dollar and Treasuries retreated.

Europe’s Stoxx 600 Index and US equity futures jumped more than 1% after the S&P 500 dropped for a seventh straight week. Asian stocks rose, while Chinese tech stocks slid.

Traders interpreted Biden’s comments that he’ll discuss the US tariffs on Chinese imports with Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen when he returns from his Asia trip as a signal there could be a reversal of some Trump-imposed measures. He also said the US military would intervene to defend Taiwan in any attack from China, some of his strongest language yet seeking to deter Beijing from an invasion.

Treasuries dropped as traders debate the Federal Reserve’s tightening path amid mounting worries about an economic slowdown. Base metals extended their rebound from a five-month low as the demand outlook was bolstered by the weaker dollar and China’s loan-rate cut. Bitcoin recovered from some weekend weakness to trade around $30,000.

Equities have been volatile as investors assess the impact of China’s Covid policies on growth and the outlook for the world’s largest economies. Beijing reported a record number of Covid cases, reviving concerns about a lockdown. China’s stringent adherence to Covid Zero has stifled economic growth and prompted banks last week to cut a key interest rate for long-term loans by a record amount.

“It seems that while there is an initial attempt to ride on some dip-buying sentiments from Wall Street, an increase in virus cases in Beijing is putting a cap on risk sentiments in the region, with China’s zero-Covid policy set to remain for the foreseeable future,” said Jun Rong Yeap, a market strategist at IG Asia.

Investors are grappling with concerns about an economic slowdown and prospects for more monetary tightening. The war in Ukraine is fanning commodity prices, and supply chains remain disrupted by China’s adherence to its Covid zero policy.

“As macro-economic concerns stemming from aggressive monetary tightening, the Russia-Ukraine conflict and China’s stringent Covid lockdowns persist, we anticipate great volatility in the market,” Louise Dudley, portfolio manager global equities at Federated Hermes Ltd., said in a note.

Minutes of the most recent Fed rate-setting meeting will give markets insight this week into the US central bank’s tightening path. St. Louis Fed President James Bullard said the central bank should front-load an aggressive series of rate hikes to push rates to 3.5% at year’s end, which if successful would push down inflation and could lead to easing in 2023 or 2024.

Here are some key events to watch this week:

  • Atlanta Fed President Raphael Bostic, Kansas City Fed President Esther George speak at events Monday
  • ECB Governing Council members Robert Holzmann and Joachim Nagel, BOE Governor Andrew Bailey discuss inflation at event Monday
  • Eurozone S&P Global PMIs Tuesday
  • US new home sales, S&P Global PMIs Tuesday
  • Reserve Bank of New Zealand rate decision Wednesday
  • FOMC minutes Wednesday
  • ECB publishes its Financial Stability Review Wednesday
  • Bank of Korea rate decision Thursday
  • US GDP, initial jobless claims Thursday
  • US core PCE price index; personal income and spending; wholesale inventories; University of Michigan consumer sentiment Friday

Some of the main moves in markets:

Stocks

  • The Stoxx Europe 600 rose 1.2% as of 8:11 a.m. London time
  • Futures on the S&P 500 rose 1.2%
  • Futures on the Nasdaq 100 rose 1.3%
  • Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 1.1%
  • The MSCI Asia Pacific Index rose 1.5%
  • The MSCI Emerging Markets Index rose 2%

Currencies

  • The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index fell 0.4%
  • The euro rose 0.4% to $1.0604
  • The Japanese yen rose 0.1% to 127.71 per dollar
  • The offshore yuan rose 0.4% to 6.6712 per dollar
  • The British pound rose 0.7% to $1.2567

Bonds

  • The yield on 10-year Treasuries advanced four basis points to 2.82%
  • Germany’s 10-year yield advanced two basis points to 0.97%
  • Britain’s 10-year yield advanced four basis points to 1.93%

Commodities

  • Brent crude rose 0.9% to $113.59 a barrel
  • Spot gold rose 0.4% to $1 853.20 an ounce
© 2022 Bloomberg

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