Business

Risk-on sentiment grows as Jackson Hole speech nears

3 minute read
  • Asian stock markets: https://tmsnrt.rs/2zpUAr4
  • Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine gets full approval
  • Oil prices edge up after rallying 5% on Monday
  • Beaten-down China tech stocks advance for second session

LONDON/SINGAPORE, Aug 24 (Reuters) - Global equities, bond yields and oil rose on Tuesday as a bounce in China's tech sector, positive U.S. vaccination news and easing worries about the U.S. tapering stimulus lifted sentiment ahead of a speech later this week by Fed Chair Jerome Powell.

Stocks in Asia, Europe and Wall Street futures all made gains, setting them on a recovery course after Chinese regulatory worries triggered a sell-off last week.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan (.MIAPJ0000PUS) rallied 1.7% while in Europe, the pan-European STOXX 600 (.STOXX) added 0.2% to the previous session's gains.

Nasdaq and S&P 500 futures rose 0.3% and 0.5% respectively.

"I believe the cheery mood across the U.S. equities is here to stay in the run up to the Jackson Hole meeting, as the Fed Chair Jerome Powell could only soften the hawkish tone of last week’s FOMC minutes", wrote Ipek Ozkardeskaya, an analyst at Swissquote.

Worries the Fed was edging closer to tapering its stimulus weighed on global markets last week but investors are now less confident Powell's speech at Jackson Hole will indicate a timeline for winding down the Fed's bond-buying program.

"The rising Covid cases and the soft data can only keep the Fed alert and reluctant to act prematurely. And that's all the market wants to hear", Ozkardeskaya added.

Spiking COVID-19 infections caused by the highly contagious Delta variant have fuelled concerns about the recovery but the U.S. Food and Drug Administration granting full approval yesterday to the COVID-19 vaccine developed by Pfizer (PFE.N) raised hopes inoculations could accelerate. read more

The improved sentiment drove the dollar down against its Australian and Canadian counterparts as well as the Norwegian crown and Swedish crown.

At 0820 GMT, the dollar was flat on the day at 93.011 versus a basket of currencies . It hit a five-day low of 92.947 on Monday and had its largest one-day drop since May.

Last week, the dollar index hit a nine-month high on bets the Fed would start shifting away from its accommodative monetary policy, but that view began to change on Friday when Dallas Fed President Robert Kaplan said he might reconsider his hawkish stance if the coronavirus harms the economy. read more

The yield on benchmark 10-year Treasury notes rose to 1.2684% while euro zone bond yields were flat with investors focusing on issuance in a data-light session.

In commodities markets, Brent crude oil futures added 1.2% to $69.50 a barrel after rallying more than 5% on Monday, as a weaker dollar and strong global equities markets boosted crude following seven sessions of declines.

Gold prices eased but stayed slightly above the key psychological level of $1,800 per ounce.

Reporting by Julien Ponthus in London, Anshuman Daga in Singapore; Additional reporting by Tom Westbrook; Editing by Shri Navaratnam and Sam Holmes

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