China buyers re-emerge, patient Fed saps dollar
World share markets were back on form on Thursday as the U.S. Federal Reserve signalled it was in no rush to taper stimulus and reassurances from Beijing saw beaten-up Chinese stocks leap off the canvas.
LONDON: World share markets were back on form on Thursday as the U.S. Federal Reserve signalled it was in no rush to taper stimulus and reassurances from Beijing saw beaten-up Chinese stocks leap off the canvas.
There was also some promising news on the long-awaited U.S. infrastructure bill as the Senate voted overnight to move ahead on the US$1.2 trillion deal, as well as it being a packed day of earnings and economic data.
The rebound in China's markets included a 10per cent bounce in tech giant Tencent - its second biggest in nearly a decade - after reports that regulators had called banks overnight to ease concerns about the recent crackdown on sectors like tech and education, and on overseas listings.
Chinese blue-chip shares bounced 1.9per cent. The main tech index jumped 3.2per cent, while an S&P/BNY Mellon index of U.S.-listed stocks soared 8.3per cent. That was its best day ever, although it is still down 20per cent in July and nearly 50per cent since February.
"Beijing is working hard to stem the growing concerns surrounding its regulatory crackdown," said RBC's head of Asia FX strategy Alvin Tan
European stocks hit all-time highs as strong earnings from Total and Shell, Airbus and others offset a near 3per cent drop in Swiss bank Credit Suisse, which reported a near 80per cent profit plunge in the wake of Archegos and Greensill calamities.
MSCI's broadest index of emerging market shares also bounced 2per cent having slid to its lowest since early December on Wednesday. China's Tencent and Alibaba make up 10per cent of that index alone.
Japan's Nikkei had also edged up 0.7per cent in Asia. S&P 500 futures were up a more subdued 0.15per cent though and Nasdaq futures dipped 0.1per cent, perhaps weighed by a retreat in Facebook stock.
Facebook fell 3.6per cent in after-hours trading after it warned revenue growth would "decelerate significantly" following Apple's recent update to its iOS operating system which is expected to heavily impact target ads.
Graphic: Beaten-up Chinese stocks rebound: https://fingfx.thomsonreuters.com/gfx/mkt/klvykemegvg/Pastedper cent20imageper cent201627558099052.png
Markets were still digesting the Federal Reserve's policy statement after it said progress had been made toward its economic goals, seeming to bring nearer the day when it might start tapering its massive asset-buying campaign.
Peak growth was also a nagging theme. Data due later on Thursday is expected to show the U.S. economy likely grew at the fastest pace in 38 years in the last quarter as government aid and vaccinations fuelled spending.
However, Fed Chair Jerome Powell added a dovish slant at the central bank's news conference by emphasising that they were "some ways away" from the substantial progress on jobs needed to start tapering.
JPMorgan economist Michael Feroli said there were three more U.S. job reports before the November meeting, and then two more between the November and December meetings. "We continue to expect a December announcement (on tapering), though we see a risk it could occur in November," Feroli said.
While the next Fed meeting is not until late September, there is also the annual Jackson Hole policy symposium on Aug. 26-28, meaning tapering talk won't be taking a break.
For bonds, the net result was that U.S. 10-year yields were steady at 1.257per cent, not far from recent five-month lows of 1.128per cent.
"My view is that (longer term) the Fed policy rate will have a 1per cent handle," said PineBridge's Global Head of Credit and Fixed Income Steven Oh. "I don't see an outcome where we see runaway inflation by any stretch of the imagination".
The pattern was the same for the dollar, which edged up after the FOMC statement only to flag on Powell's remarks and then dribble lower in both Asia and European trading.
That left the euro up at US$1.1871, and some way from its recent four-month trough of US$1.1750.
The dollar faded to 109.81 yen from a top of 110.58 early in the week, all of which saw the dollar index dip to 92.018, off its recent peak of 93.194.
In commodity markets, China-sensitive copper rose 1.25per cent and gold nudged up to US$1,817 an ounce, though it remained in the US$30 range of the past 17 sessions.
Oil prices also firmed after data showed U.S. crude inventories fell to pre-pandemic levels, bringing the market's focus back to tight supplies rather than rising COVID-19 infections.
Brent was last up 73 cents at US$75.47 a barrel, while U.S. crude added 80 cents to US$73.21.
(Additional Reporting by Wayne Cole in Sydney; Editing by Robert Birsel and Jan Harvey)