World equities rise on bounce in US, European markets

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Global markets and US stocks were down sharply most of this week as investors grew anxious about the possibility of recession. The S&P 500 index is off nearly 20 per cent from its all-time high in January and was close to a bear market on Thursday. — Reuters pic
Global markets and US stocks were down sharply most of this week as investors grew anxious about the possibility of recession. The S&P 500 index is off nearly 20 per cent from its all-time high in January and was close to a bear market on Thursday. — Reuters pic

NEW YORK, May 14 — Global shares rose on Friday as Wall Street rallied to end a volatile week of trading, while oil jumped 4 per cent on the back of record-high US gas prices.

Global markets and US stocks were down sharply most of this week as investors grew anxious about the possibility of recession. The S&P 500 index is off nearly 20 per cent from its all-time high in January and was close to a bear market on Thursday.

But investors’ fears over whether US Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell can accomplish a “soft landing” — bringing inflation down while keeping the US economy growing — appeared to ease at least temporarily on Friday.

MSCI’s gauge of stocks across the globe gained 2.30 per cent at 4:07 pm ET (2007 GMT), after hitting its lowest since November 2020 on Thursday. The pan-European STOXX 600 index rose 2.14 per cent.

According to preliminary data, the S&P 500 gained 94.57 points, or 2.41 per cent, to end at 4,024.65 points, while the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC gained 436.61 points, or 3.84 per cent, to 11,807.57. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 466.43 points, or 1.47 per cent, to 32,196.73.

Despite Friday’s gains, the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq posted their sixth consecutive weekly loss, and the Dow notched its seventh consecutive weekly dip.

Emerging market stocks rose 1.83 per cent. MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan rallied 2.01 per cent from Thursday’s 22-month closing low. Japan’s Nikkei rose 2.64 per cent.

“Stocks were ready to rebound as some investors remain hopeful the Fed will deliver a soft landing, while others are ready to buy the dip,” said Edward Moya, analyst at OANDA.

Cryptocurrencies steadied on Friday, with bitcoin recovering from a 16-month low after a volatile week dominated by the collapse in value of TerraUSD, a so-called stablecoin.

Bitcoin, the largest cryptocurrency by market value, rose 3.5 per cent to US$29,884 (RM131,429.83), rebounding from a December 2020 low of US$25,400 hit on Thursday. Bitcoin remains far below week-earlier levels of around US$40,000 and is on track for a record seventh consecutive weekly loss.

Oil prices jumped 4 per cent as US gasoline prices jumped to a record high and China looked ready to ease pandemic restrictions.

Brent futures rose US$4.10, or 3.8 per cent, to settle at US$111.55 a barrel. US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude CLc1 rose US$4.36, or 4.1 per cent, to settle at US$110.49.

Markets are likely to experience a short-term rebound before resuming the sell-off which has sent Wall Street’s Nasdaq tech index .NDX down over 25 per cent since the beginning of the year, BofA analysts wrote in a weekly strategy note.

Investors liquidated global equity funds worth US$10.53 billion in the week ended May 11, compared with US$1.65 billion of net selling in the previous week, according to Refinitiv Lipper.

In an interview late on Thursday, Powell said the battle to control inflation would “include some pain,” and he repeated his expectation of half-percentage-point interest rate rises at each of the Fed’s next two policy meetings.

Headline inflation in the euro zone will fall in the second half of the year but so-called core prices, which strip out food and energy, will keep rising, the European Central Bank’s vice-president Luis de Guindos said on Friday.

The dollar was lower on Friday but remained on track for a weekly gain. The dollar index fell 0.2 per cent, with the euro up 0.21 per cent to US$1.0401.

The Japanese yen weakened 0.77 per cent versus the greenback at 129.32 per dollar, while sterling was last trading at US$1.2232, up 0.27 per cent on the day.

The moves higher in equities were mirrored in US Treasuries, with the benchmark US 10-year yield US10YT=RR edging up to 2.9367 per cent from a close of 2.817 per cent on Thursday.

The policy-sensitive 2-year yield was 2.5986 per cent, from a close of 2.522 per cent.

Gold fell more than 1 per cent on Friday and is set for its fourth straight weekly decline, as the dollar’s strength sapped appetite for bullion. Spot gold XAU= dropped 0.8 per cent to US$1,807.79 an ounce. US gold futures GCc1 fell 0.59 per cent to US$1,807.40 an ounce. — Reuters