Thursday, 6th October, 2022
Thursday, 6th October, 2022

Asian markets extend Wall St rally as China eases curbs

Asian markets rose Monday as investors
rediscovered some verve after the release of healthy US data and as China
eases some of its strict Covid curbs in Shanghai and Beijing, lifting hopes
for the world’s number two economy.

The gains extended a positive end to last week for global equities with some
commentators saying there was a growing hope that the months-long sell-off
may have run its course.

Wall Street provided a strong lead and snapped a series of weekly losses,
with Friday’s rally supported by data showing an easing of the key personal
consumption expenditures (PCE) price index.

Markets have been pummelled this year as soaring prices — caused by the
Ukraine war, supply chain snags and China’s lockdowns among other things —
forced central banks to hike interest rates and warn of more to come.

The US reading lent hope that the worst of the inflation surge may have
passed and could allow the Federal Reserve to ease back from its hawkish rate
hike drive later in the year.

May jobs data — due for release on Friday — should provide a fresh snapshot
of the economy and possibly provide an idea about the Fed’s next policy
moves.

Asian investors followed the lead from their US counterparts.

Hong Kong put on more than two percent after a strong Friday performance
fuelled by a rally in tech firms, while Tokyo, Sydney, Shanghai, Seoul,
Taipei, Manila and Wellington were also well up.

An easing of long-running lockdown measures in Shanghai provided a much-
needed lift to sentiment, with China’s biggest city seeing a drop in Covid
cases, while some curbs were also being lifted in Beijing.

Officials have also announced measures to ease the impact on the world’s
number two economy, which has been hammered by the restrictions.

The possibility that the measures could be gradually removed helped oil
prices rise, with Brent topping $120 for the first time in two months as
traders bet on a pick-up in demand.

That comes as European leaders are said to be edging towards a deal to impose
sanctions on imports of crude from Russia in retaliation for its invasion of
Ukraine.

Still, while optimism is higher on trading floors at the moment, it remains
at a premium with inflation still elevated and borrowing costs expected to
rise further, while the war in Ukraine and China’s still-struggling economy
continue to drag.

“We are in the middle of a bear market rally,” Mahjabeen Zaman, of Citigroup
Australia, told Bloomberg Television. “I think the market is going to be
trading range bound trying to figure out how soon is that recession coming or
how quickly is inflation going down.”

– Key figures at around 0240 GMT –

Tokyo – Nikkei 225: UP 2.0 percent at 27,309.35 (break)

Hong Kong – Hang Seng Index: UP 2.1 percent at 21,124.09

Shanghai – Composite: UP 0.5 percent at 3,147.15

Euro/dollar: UP at $1.0750 from $1.0739 on Friday

Pound/dollar: UP at $1.2649 from $1.2631

Euro/pound: DOWN at 84.97 pence from 84.99 pence

Dollar/yen: DOWN at 127.00 yen from 127.09 yen

Brent North Sea crude: UP 0.8 percent at $120.36 per barrel

West Texas Intermediate: UP 1.0 percent at $116.20 per barrel

New York – Dow: UP 1.8 percent at 33,212.96 (close)

London – FTSE 100: UP 0.3 percent at 7,585.46 (close)

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