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Stocks Waver as Traders Mull Rates, China Stimulus: Markets Wrap

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(Bloomberg) — European stocks slipped and US equity futures were steady as investors assessed prospects for less-aggressive central bank tightening and weighed China’s latest effort to stimulate its economy.

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Most sectors in the Stoxx Europe 600 Index were lower, although the regional benchmark remains on course for a sixth week of gains, the longest winning streak in a year. Contracts for the S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 erased an advance.

Recent commentary from Federal Reserve officials that supported the case for a slower pace of interest-rate increases has improved sentiment toward risk assets. In a further potential boost for markets, China’s central bank on Friday cut the amount of cash lenders must hold in reserve for the second time this year, an escalation of support for an economy racked by surging Covid cases and a continued property downturn.

The dollar gained, ending three straight days of losses. Treasuries steadied after rising in Asian trade. US markets will have a shortened session on Friday after being closed for a full day on Thursday.

The outlook for Chinese markets is improving, despite the current flareup in virus cases, according to Jun Bei Liu, a portfolio manager at Tribeca Investment Partners.

“In the next 12 months things will get better. We have seen this playbook before across other economies,” she said on Bloomberg Television. “We’ll begin to see outperformance very soon in the next few quarters.”

Meanwhile, JPMorgan Chase & Co. quantitative strategist Khuram Chaudhry said the rebound in European equities driven by expectations of peaking inflation and bond yields as well as a weaker dollar is nothing but a bear market rally and that investors are “jumping the gun.” He forecasts euro-area equities will eventually recover “later in 2023.”

Oil pared a third weekly loss as the European Union weighs a higher-than-expected price cap on flows of Russian crude and slowdown concerns threaten the outlook for energy demand. Gold was poised for a modest weekly gain.

Some of the main moves in markets:

Stocks

  • The Stoxx Europe 600 fell 0.2% as of 10 a.m. London time

  • Futures on the Nasdaq 100 were little changed

  • Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average were little changed

  • The MSCI Asia Pacific Index fell 0.5%

  • The MSCI Emerging Markets Index fell 0.3%

Currencies

  • The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index rose 0.2%

  • The euro fell 0.2% to $1.0393

  • The Japanese yen fell 0.6% to 139.40 per dollar

  • The offshore yuan was little changed at 7.1738 per dollar

  • The British pound fell 0.3% to $1.2081

Cryptocurrencies

  • Bitcoin fell 0.7% to $16,433.91

  • Ether fell 1.4% to $1,178.54

Bonds

  • The yield on 10-year Treasuries advanced one basis point to 3.70%

  • Germany’s 10-year yield advanced seven basis points to 1.92%

  • Britain’s 10-year yield advanced six basis points to 3.09%

Commodities

  • Brent crude rose 1.5% to $86.60 a barrel

  • Spot gold fell 0.2% to $1,750.95 an ounce

This story was produced with the assistance of Bloomberg Automation.

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©2022 Bloomberg L.P.

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