Morning Bid: U.S. bank deal allays systemic fears

Illustration shows First Citizens BancShares and SVB (Silicon Valley Bank) logos
First Citizens BancShares and SVB (Silicon Valley Bank) logos are seen in this illustration taken March 19, 2023. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration

March 28 (Reuters) - A look at the day ahead in Asian markets from Jamie McGeever.

Asian markets could rebound on Tuesday from their sluggish start to the week, after a deal to buy the assets of stricken U.S. bank Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) prompted a relief rally in financials and allayed fears of deeper systemic stress.

Regional U.S. lender First Citizens BancShares said it will take on SVB's assets of $110 billion, deposits of $56 billion and loans of $72 billion, and investors liked what they heard.

The S&P 500 banking index jumped 3% - First Citizen shares leapt 54% - the MSCI global financials index rose 1.2% and euro zone banks rose 1.7%.

Systemic banking crisis fears were further allayed by Fed Vice Chair for Supervision Michael Barr, who plans to tell lawmakers on Tuesday that regulators are committed to ensuring all U.S. bank deposits are safe, according to prepared remarks.

Brent crude's rise of over 4% was another indication that investors may be recovering their mojo in the final week of a torrid quarter. All good news, right?

Yes, but there are reasons for caution, and not just because banking crises are rarely resolved in days or weeks.


The surge of more than 20 basis points in the two-year U.S. Treasury yield was down due to a poorly received auction as much as due to confidence that banks have turned a corner. The notes sold at a high yield of more than two basis points above where they had traded before the auction, and demand was the weakest since November 2021.

Treasury's sale of $43 billion five-year notes on Tuesday and $35 billion of seven-year notes on Wednesday will be worth monitoring.

And crypto shares fell after the Commodity Futures Trading Commission said it had sued crypto exchange Binance and its CEO and founder Changpeng Zhao for operating an "illegal" exchange and a "sham" compliance program.

Bitcoin fell 3.5%, the third time in a week it has lost 3% or more in a single day.

There are no central bank policy decisions on Tuesday, but investors can expect a slew of headlines from central bank officials around the world to hit their screens.

In Asia, Bank of Japan governor Haruhiko Kuroda gives a speech, and finance ministers and central bank governors of the ASEAN nations attend a three-day summit in Bali. European Central Bank and Bank of England chiefs Christine Lagarde and Andrew Bailey head a raft of European policymaker events.

And the Fed's Barr delivers his "Bank Oversight" testimony to lawmakers.

Here are three key developments that could provide more direction to markets on Tuesday:

- Australia retail sales (February)

- ASEAN finance chiefs summit

- Fed's Barr speaks on banking sector oversight

By Jamie McGeever; Editing by Josie Kao

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Jamie McGeever has been a financial journalist since 1998, reporting from Brazil, Spain, New York, London, and now back in the U.S. again. Focus on economics, central banks, policymakers, and global markets - especially FX and fixed income. Follow me on Twitter: @ReutersJamie