< Back to News

Stocks Gain as Trade Worries Abate Treasuries Up

Financial_Markets_3

Asian stocks advanced and U.S. equity futures edged up as investor concern about a trade war eased — for now. The dollar steadied and Treasuries ticked higher.

Equities rose from Tokyo to Sydney, with shares in Hong Kong outperforming. Earlier, the S&P 500 Index bounced from a drop of as much as 1 percent as investors spooked by the departure of pro-trade adviser Gary Cohn took solace from suggestions that President Donald Trump’s tariff plan will spare select countries such as Canada and Mexico. The Mexican peso and the Canadian dollar firmed on the news. The euro was little changed ahead of the European Central Bank’s meeting on Thursday.

“If you look at the global economic backdrop the world still looks relatively good,” JPMorgan Asset Management Australia Chief Executive Officer Rachel Farrell told Bloomberg Television. “Long term we really look at fundamentals and fundamentals across the world are actually quite strong.”

Markets this week have been gripped by geopolitical developments as the possibility of an escalating global trade war tested traders’ nerves. Attention now turns back to central banks, with investors homing in first on the commentary from the ECB’s policy meeting Thursday, then to the Bank of Japan, which concludes its discussions Friday.

Elsewhere, Bitcoin declined amid fresh pressure from the U.S. securities regulator. Crude oil traded above $61 a barrel after tumbling more than 2 percent.

Here are some key events coming up this week:

The Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference runs through March 15 and overlaps with the National People’s Congress meetings in Beijing, through March 20.

The ECB isn’t expected to change policy on Thursday, but the Governing Council may discuss a change to pave the way for the end of quantitative easing.

BOJ monetary policy decision and briefing on Friday.

U.S. monthly payrolls data come Friday.

And these are the main moves in markets:

Stocks

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index rose 0.8 percent as of 4:13 p.m. Tokyo time.

Topix index rose 0.4 percent.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index rose 1.6 percent.

Kospi index rose 1.3 percent.

Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index rose 0.7 percent.

Futures on the S&P 500 Index rose 0.1 percent.

Currencies

The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index rose less than 0.05 percent.

The Japanese yen rose 0.1 percent to 105.94 per dollar.

The euro fell 0.1 percent to $1.2399.

Bonds

The yield on 10-year Treasuries declined one basis point to 2.88 percent.

German bund yields were at 0.66 percent.

Commodities

West Texas Intermediate crude rose 0.2 percent to $61.27 a barrel.

Gold rose 0.2 percent to $1,328.54 an ounce.

LME copper fell 0.6 percent to $6,906.50 per metric ton.

Source: Bloomberg