Asian equities jump on oil slide, Ukraine hopes
With oil prices crashing overnight, and tenuous hopes that a Ukraine resolution was on the table, equity markets saw a biblical stampede of bottom-fishers pouring into equity markets, sending them soaring. The S&P 500 leapt 2.57% higher, while the Nasdaq rocketed 3.59% higher, helped by an Amazon stock-split announcement. The Dow Jones, meanwhile, rallied a still-impressive 2.0%. In Asia, US futures are pausing for breath, perhaps on the latest UAE statements. Futures on all three indexes have eased by around 0.15%.
Asian markets are rapidly playing catch-up and rallying powerfully today, with retail-trader heavy bourses doing particularly well and displaying their usual herd-like behaviour. The Nikkei 225 has soared 4.0% higher, while South Korea’s Kospi has risen by 2.10%. In China, the fuel export ban story mentioned earlier has been ignored as exchanges enjoy a day in the sun. The Shanghai Composite has risen by 1.90%, with the CSI 300 jumping 2.30% higher. Hong Kong has risen by 1.60%.
With oil prices creeping higher in Asia once again, the euphoria has been slightly tempered in regional markets, but they too, are rallying. Singapore is 1.35% higher, Taipei has jumped by 2.45%, with Kuala Lumpur just 1.10% higher and Jakarta unchanged for the day, possibly after raising the limit palm oil producers must sell to the domestic market. Bangkok has risen by 0.70% with Manila up 1.15%. The fall in resource prices overnight is also tempering gains in Australia where the All Ordinaries and ASX 200 are 1.10% higher.
With US futures trading sideways in Asia, European markets are unlikely to display the same bullish momentum this afternoon unless we get a breakthrough in the Ukraine-Russia talks in Turkey. A dovish ECB is already priced into markets I believe and if anything, if they are less dovish than expected, it could be a headwind.
Given the volatility seen this week, picking the direction of US markets has become a turkey shoot. Markets will swing on Ukraine and oil developments, and I hold that we are just one big negative headline from consigning yesterday’s recovery to history.
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