‘Relief rally’ pushes equity markets higher; bonds flat

The dollar index fell on Sunday, erasing some of last week’s gains, down 0.4 percent on the day at 94.157. (Reuters/File)
Short Url
Updated 29 September 2020

‘Relief rally’ pushes equity markets higher; bonds flat

  • Dollar falls from two-month highs; US Treasury yields hover near 0.66 percent

NEW YORK: Global equity markets surged and the dollar fell from two-month highs Monday as investors moved into the shares of beaten-down sectors such as banks and travel stocks on the heels of a sharp stock market sell-off the week before.

Asian shares gained, with Chinese shares boosted by data over the weekend showing China’s industrial firms grew for the fourth consecutive month in August.

“We’re seeing a bit of a relief rally,” said Jonathan Bell, chief investment officer at Stanhope Capital. “Things got oversold perhaps a little bit in the short term.”

“We saw quite a lot of exuberance in July and August, with prices, particularly of tech stocks, rising and that then has come off a little bit recently,” he said.

MSCI’s gauge of stocks across the globe gained 1.79 percent following broad gains in Asia and Europe.

The STOXX 600’s banking stock index was up 4.4 percent, after hitting a fresh all-time low on Friday. In midmorning trading on Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 488.98 points, or 1.8 percent, to 27,662.94; the S&P 500 gained 54.73 points, or 1.66 percent, to 3,353.19; and the Nasdaq Composite added 162.86 points, or 1.49 percent, to 11,076.42.

Hotels, banks, and airline stocks all gained more than the broad market, with shares of Delta Air Lines Inc. up nearly 4 percent and Bank of America Corp. up nearly 2.5 percent.

The dollar index fell, erasing some of last week’s gains, down 0.4 percent on the day at 94.157.

Investors remain broadly cautious in light of rising new COVID-19 infections in Europe, which pose the risk of further restrictions on activity.

Benchmark 10-year notes last fell 1/32 in price to yield 0.661 percent, from 0.659 percent late on Friday.

“You’re seeing a nice bounce for stocks, but it’s more of an oversold bounce, and the bond market is still apprehensive about totally buying in on this equity move,” given the uncertainty over additional fiscal stimulus in the United States and the Nov. 3 presidential election, said Ryan Detrick, chief market strategist at LPL Financial.

US crude recently rose 0.62 percent to $40.50 per barrel and Brent was at $42.14, up 0.52 percent on the day.


Britain, EU tell each other to move on trade

Updated 20 October 2020

Britain, EU tell each other to move on trade

  • Both sides call on each other to protect billions of dollars of trade between the neighbors

BRUSSELS: Britain and the EU said on Monday the door was still open for a deal on their post-Brexit relationship, calling on each other to compromise to find a way to protect billions of dollars of trade between the neighbors.

With just over two months before Britain ends a status quo transition arrangement with the EU, talks on a trade deal are deadlocked, with neither wanting to move first to offer concessions.

A no-deal finale to Britain’s five-year Brexit drama would disrupt the operations of manufacturers, retailers, farmers and nearly every other sector — just as the economic hit from the coronavirus pandemic worsens.

European Commission Vice President Maros Sefcovic repeated on Monday that the EU still wanted a trade deal but not “at any cost” after British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Friday there was no point in continuing talks.

“It has to be a fair agreement for both sides — we are not going to sign an agreement at any cost,” Sefcovic told reporters after meeting Michael Gove, Britain’s point man on the existing divorce agreement, in London.

“The EU is ready to work until the last minute for a good agreement for both parties,” Sefcovic said.

Britain, increasingly frustrated by the EU’s refusal to start text-based talks, called on the bloc to make the first move, with its housing minister saying that Brussels only had to make “some relatively small but important changes.”

Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick called on the EU to “go that extra mile, to come closer to us on the points that remain for discussion.”

A spokesman for Johnson again ruled out prolonging any negotiation beyond the end of this year, when the transition period runs out, saying the EU “must be ready to discuss the detailed legal text of a treaty in all areas with a genuine wish to respect UK sovereignty and independence.”

EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier had been due in London for talks with British counterpart David Frost this week. Instead, they will now speak by telephone on Monday to discuss the structure of future talks, Barnier’s spokesman said.

Negotiations broke down on Thursday, when the EU demanded Britain give ground. Issues still to be resolved include fair competition rules, including state aid and fisheries. EU diplomats and officials cast Johnson’s move as a frantic bid to secure concessions before a last-minute deal was done, and European leaders have asked Barnier to continue talks.

British officials have repeatedly said any deal has to honor Britain’s new status as a sovereign country and not try to tie it to EU rules and regulations.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said compromises on both sides would be needed. French President Emmanuel Macron said Britain needed a deal more than the 27-nation EU.

Britain is launching a campaign this week urging businesses to step up preparations for a no-deal departure. In a statement accompanying the launch, Gove says: “Make no mistake, there are changes coming in just 75 days and time is running out for businesses to act.”

More than 70 British business groups representing over 7 million workers on Sunday urged politicians to get back to the negotiating table next week and strike a deal.