Strong earnings and China stimulus bolster stocks
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Tuesday 21:00 BST
What you need to know
- S&P 500 gains 0.5%, Alphabet shares jump
- China unveils plans for tax cuts and infrastructure spending
- Copper rises 2.7 per cent in London
- Bond prices little changed after previous day’s steep losses
- Turkish lira slides as central bank holds rates
A well-received batch of quarterly corporate earnings and fresh moves by the Chinese authorities to stimulate the country’s economy helped inject a more confident tone into global equity and industrial metal markets.
On Wall Street, the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite index climbed to a record high in early trade — before giving back its gain for the day — as shares in Alphabet, Google’s parent company, hit an all-time peak after its results beat forecasts.
More broadly, the “risk-on” mood was buoyed by China’s announcement of a package of tax cuts and infrastructure spending, just a day after the country’s central bank injected $74bn into the financial system.
“The authorities in China are concerned over the impact that the developing trade war [with the US] will have on growth and are taking measures to counteract a weakening economy,” said Fiona Cincotta, analyst at City Index.
The CSI 300 index of Chinese stocks enjoyed a third day of strong gains, while the renminbi hit a fresh one-year low against the dollar.
Metals prices rallied as participants turned more optimistic on the outlook for Chinese demand, with copper rallying further away from a recent one-year low and aluminium hitting a two-week high.
Meanwhile, global bonds steadied after the previous day’s steep sell-off, which came amid reports that the Bank of Japan was considering tweaking its policy stance. The yen gained ground against the dollar while the euro failed to sustain an early break above $1.17.
A disappointing reading for the July eurozone composite purchasing managers’ index was seen by analysts as unlikely to prompt any shift in stance from the European Central Bank when it meets this week.
“We expect the eurozone recovery to remain in ‘steady as she goes’ mode, but certainly not more than that,” said Peter Vanden Houte, economist at ING.
“A scenario that shouldn’t inspire the ECB to change anything in its forward guidance on Thursday.”
The Turkish lira tumbled after the country’s central bank left interest rates unchanged despite soaring inflation.
In New York, the S&P 500 ended 0.5 per cent higher at 2,820, having earlier been up 0.8 per cent. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.8 per cent.
The Nasdaq Composite rose to 7,928.79 in early trade before turning tail to finish little changed on the day at 7,840. Alphabet shares ended nearly 4 per cent higher but came off the record high hit earlier in the day. Microsoft and Facebook also touched all-time peaks during the session.
Across the Atlantic, the Stoxx 600 Europe rose 0.9 per cent to its highest close since mid-June.
The Xetra Dax in Frankfurt gained 1.1 per cent while London’s FTSE 100 underperformed — albeit still with a rise of 0.7 per cent — as sterling firmed against the dollar and the euro.
Mainland China’s CSI 300 climbed 1.6 per cent to a one-month high as construction stocks rallied.
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng had its best day since June as it rose 1.4 per cent, powered by financials and the technology sector. Japan’s Topix rose 0.5 per cent.
Forex and fixed income
The dollar index was down 0.1 per cent at 94.60 — still in sight of last week’s 12-month high of 95.65 — even as the euro drifted back from the day’s high of $1.1717 to stand 0.1 per cent lower at $1.1681.
The US currency was down 0.2 per cent against the yen at ¥111.15 while sterling was up 0.3 per cent at $1.3146. The euro was down 0.5 per cent against the pound at £0.8885.
China’s onshore renminbi, which is permitted to trade 2 per cent either side of a daily midpoint set by the country’s central bank, weakened as far as Rmb6.8246 per dollar, its lowest level since June 2017.
The yield on 10-year Japanese government bonds was flat at 0.073 per cent, according to Bloomberg data, after touching its highest level in six months on Monday.
The 10-year US Treasury yield, which hit a five-week high in the previous session, was down 2 basis points at 2.95 per cent and the German 10-year Bund yield held steady at 0.40 per cent.
The dollar was up 3.1 per cent against the Turkish lira at TL4.8875 per dollar, after touching TL4.9373 — just a whisker away from the record high of TL4.9711 hit earlier this month.
Copper ended 2.7 per cent higher in London at $6,295 a tonne. The metal recently dipped below $6,000 to a one-year intraday low. Aluminium rose 0.7 per cent to $2,084 a tonne.
Oil prices moved higher as participants awaited US crude inventory data. Brent settled at $73.44 a barrel, up 0.5 per cent, while US West Texas Intermediate was 0.8 per cent higher in late trade at $68.46.
Gold was up $1 at $1,225 an ounce.
Additional reporting by Alice Woodhouse in Hong Kong and Michael Hunter in London
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