Global stocks enjoy relief rally in Asia, bonds retreat


Stocks rallied while bonds retreated in Asia on Monday as a thaw in the Sino-U.S. trade dispute tempered risks to the global economy, leading investors to pare back wagers on aggressive policy easing by the major central banks.

A passerby walks past in front of a stock quotation board outside a brokerage in Tokyo

A passerby walks past in front of a stock quotation board outside a brokerage in Tokyo, Japan, May 10, 2019. REUTERS/Issei Kato

SYDNEY: Stocks rallied while bonds retreated in Asia on Monday as a thaw in the Sino-U.S. trade dispute tempered risks to the global economy, leading investors to pare back wagers on aggressive policy easing by the major central banks.

The dollar gained on the safe-haven yen as Treasury yields jumped and futures reined in bets for a half-point rate cut from the U.S. Federal Reserve this month.

“The Osaka truce has reduced the probability of escalation in the near term, and slightly exceeded market expectations,” said analysts at Barclays in a note.

“However, we do not think the likelihood of a deal has necessarily increased,” they warned. “It is probably in the best interest of both parties to keep the talks running as long as they can.”

The early reaction was one of relief that no new tariffs were launched and Nikkei futures climbed 1.6per cent. E-Mini futures for the S&P 500 likewise rose 1per cent.

Treasury futures slid 13 ticks and Fed funds dropped over 5 ticks as the market scaled back the probability of a 50 basis-point rate cut this month to around 13per cent, from nearer 50per cent a week ago.

The United States and China agreed on Saturday to restart trade talks after President Donald Trump offered concessions including no new tariffs and an easing of restrictions on tech company Huawei in order to reduce tensions with Beijing.

China agreed to make unspecified new purchases of U.S. farm products and return to the negotiating table.

Still, no deadline was set for a deal and much damage has already been done, with a survey of Chinese manufacturing out over the weekend showing a continued contraction in new orders.

The official Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) held at 49.4 in June, just missing forecasts.

“Although a worst case outcome has been averted, the threat of tariffs remains and it is unlikely the truce gives much confidence to firms’ investment and hiring decisions,” said Tapas Strickland, a director of economics at NAB.

“As such, it is likely that soft manufacturing conditions will persist until if and when a fuller agreement is fleshed out.”

The reaction in currency markets was to strip some recent gain from safe harbors like the yen and Swiss franc. The dollar hopped up 0.5per cent on the yen to 108.44 and gained 0.3per cent on the franc to 0.9792.

The dollar added 0.2per cent on a basket of currencies, but was little changed on the euro at US$1.1364.

The dollar’s gains took some of the shine off gold, which fell 1.2per cent to US$1,392.56 per ounce.

Oil prices swung high in early trade on news OPEC and its allies look set to extend supply cuts at least until the end of 2019 as Iraq joined top producers Saudi Arabia and Russia in endorsing the policy.

Brent crude futures rose 93 cents to US$65.67, while U.S. crude gained 98 cents to US$59.45 a barrel.

(Editing by Sandra Maler)



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