Germany, China lift world stocks, Spanish worries simmer

09 Oct, 2017 6:04 pm

LONDON (Reuters) – World shares rose on Monday, with Chinese stocks hitting 21-month highs and the German index setting a new record, while political uncertainty triggered big moves in sterling, the Turkish lira and Spanish debt.

Wall Street looked set to open higher, with e-mini futures on the S&P 500 index ESc1 up 0.2 percent and signaling a rebound from Friday’s fall after six days of gains.

European shares rose. The pan-European STOXX 600 index added 0.3 percent and Germany’s DAX touched an all-time high after data showing industrial output far overshot forecasts.

Spanish shares outperformed, rising 0.6 percent, and Spain’s government bond yields fell after a big show of support for the country remaining together and against Catalan independence appeared to calm markets.

Hundreds of thousands demonstrated on Sunday in the Catalan capital Barcelona, carrying banners saying “Catalonia is Spain” and “Together we are stronger”. Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont was due to address the regional parliament on Tuesday on “the current political situation”.

“There is hope in the markets that independence will not be declared and the worst case will be avoided,” Gautam Batra, head of investments at Mediolanum Asset Management, told Reuters.

Spain’s 10-year bond yield ES10YT=TWEB fell 6.4 basis points at 1.65 percent.

On their first day of trade after a week-long holiday, Chinese blue-chip stocks touched their highest levels since late 2015, partly in a delayed reaction to a targeted cut in the amount of cash some banks must hold in reserve announced a week ago. The index closed up 1.2 percent.

Last week’s targeted rate cut outweighed data on Monday, showing activity in China’s service sector grew in September at its slowest since December 2015.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan .MIAPJ0000PUS fell 0.1 percent, having rebounded by 1.7 percent last week. An index of world stocks tracking shares in 46 countries, however, was up less than 0.1 percent but just shy of a record high .MIWD00000PUS.


U.S. stocks are due to trade on Monday, although the bond market is closed for a holiday. Tokyo markets are also shut.

The dollar fell 0.1 percent against a basket of currencies .DXY. The greenback was all but flat against the Japanese yen on concerns that North Korea was preparing a new missile test.

The yen was last at 112.69 per dollar , having fallen as low as 113.44 per dollar last week. The euro edged up 0.1 percent to $1.1742 .

The Turkish lira fell as much as 2.5 percent against the dollar and Istanbul stocks fell 4 percent after the United States and Turkey cut back visa services in a sharp deterioration in relations.

The lira last traded at 3.7060 per dollar, down 2.5 percent on the day, and stocks were down 3.1 percent.

A U.S. consulate employee was arrested last week on charges of links to U.S.-based Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen, blamed by Ankara for last year’s failed military coup. Washington condemned the arrest as baseless.

“Turkey’s economy, especially the private sector, significantly relies on USD funding, the disruption of which can cause economic and financial disarray to Turkey” analysts at TD securities said in a note.

Sterling rose 0.9 percent to $1.3173 on reports that British Prime Minister Theresa May, facing threats to oust her, might sack her foreign minister, Boris Johnson.

“If Boris Johnson were to leave or be demoted as the weekend press is suggesting, that would be showing May’s leadership and that her vision of Brexit is the one that (the government) will be going forward with and that markets should be aligned to,” said Viraj Patel, an FX strategist at ING Bank in London.

Speculative investors’ bets on a stronger pound reached their highest in three years in the week to Oct. 3, data from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission showed.

Gold XAU= hit a one-week high as tension over North Korea saw some investors seek safety in the metal. It rose 0.6 percent to nearly $1,283 an ounce.

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