Global stocks rally as investors scent fresh China stimulus

(From Reuters)

Global shares rose Wednesday, led by an 8 percent surge in Japanese stocks, helping lift the dollar as the prospect of more stimulus from China soothed investors rattled by recent market turmoil.

An investor looks through stock information at a trading hall of a securities firm in Shanghai Wednesday

An investor looks through stock information at a trading hall of a securities firm in Shanghai Wednesday

The charge into stocks pushed yields on low-risk government bonds higher, though a sale of German 10-year debt attracted bids worth less than the amount on offer. The U.S. Treasury is scheduled to auction $21 billion of 10-year paper later.

Oil prices stabilized but concerns about oversupply remained.

European shares followed Asia higher, with the pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index.FTEU3 up more than 2 percent. U.S. index futures ESc1 SPc1 suggested Wall Street would open up about 1 percent.

The stock market gains were sparked by a rally in Chinese shares on Tuesday, when weaker-than-expected August trade reinforced investors’ expectations that Beijing would act to bolster slowing growth in the world’s second-largest economy.

China’s Finance Ministry said Wednesday it would strengthen fiscal policy, boost infrastructure spending and speed up tax reform, helping lift Chinese shares for a second day. The Shanghai Composite .SSEC closed 2.3 percent higher and the CSI 300 index.CSI300 rose 1.96 percent while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng .HSI was up 4.5 percent.

Angus Gluskie, managing director of White Funds Management in Sydney, described Wednesday’s stock rally as a “speculative bounce”.

“The market will remain susceptible to a return of negativity until we see signs of some improvement in the original causes of weakness, which were predominantly Chinese growth concerns,” he said.

Signals from Prime Minister Shinzo Abe that Japan will cut corporate taxes pushed the Nikkei 225 .N225 stock index up 7.7 percent, the most it has risen in a day since the depths of the global financial crisis in October 2008.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan .MIAPJ0000PUS also rallied hard, rising 3.2 percent, with gains across all the major indices.

Investors’ increased appetite for risk saw the dollar firm against the safe-haven yen and the euro. The single European currency EUR= was down 0.2 percent at $1.1182 while the yen was 0.6 percent weaker at 120.53 per dollar.

Notable gainers in the currency markets were the Australian AUD= and New Zealand dollars NZD=. Both countries are exposed to Chinese growth.

Risk sentiment

“I don’t see an end to risk sentiment driving currencies any time soon,” said Shusuke Yamada, chief Japan FX strategist at Bank of America Merrill Lynch in Tokyo.

“It all goes back to China, where opaqueness remains over its currency market, monetary policy and capital controls. The forex market is most on edge about a further possible devaluation of the yuan.”

China devalued the yuan by 1.9 percent on Aug. 11.

Crude oil prices edged higher. Brent, the global benchmark LCOc1, was trading all but flat at $49.50 a barrel.

“Fundamentally, the market is following the stock market,” said Tamas Varga of PVM, adding the market remained oversupplied. “The strength is going to be temporary.”

German 10-year bond yields DE10YT=TWEB rose 1.8 basis points to 0.70 percent. Germany sold 3.2 billion euros of the paper at an average yield of 0.69 percent, attracting bids worth less than the 4 billion on offer.

U.S. 10-year Treasury yields US10YT=RR, which rose in New York on Tuesday with shares, headed higher still and were last up 3.6 bps at 2.23 percent.

“The environment for the auctions seems tricky amid the ongoing concerns about Chinese selling (of Treasuries). No one really knows how Chinese demand is going to behave and that’s creating uncertainty here,” said Commerzbank strategist Michael Leister.

Gold XAU= held above a three-week low, last trading at $1,120.60 an ounce, having fallen as low at $1,116.20 earlier this week.



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