Positive vibes out of Ukraine boost equities
Equity markets ignored the warning signs from the bond market post-FOMC overnight, piling back into long positions after the FOMC held no surprises in its mind. Assisting things along were positive signals around Ukrainian talks and the huge rally in China stocks that also lifted their ADRs to huge gains in New York. For now, China’s stimulus hopes and backstopping the stock market, and hopes, however tenuous, of a Ukraine settlement, are trumping anything the Fed does. It is very much in line with a stock market that has been programmed to buy dips for the last 14 years, thanks to central bank quantitative easing.
Overnight, the S&P 500 rallied by 2.26%, the Nasdaq leapt 3.80% higher, while the Dow Jones gained 1.55% as the growth/value trade also did its work. In Asia, futures on all three have edged slightly lower on long-covering by fast money.
Chinese markets received a massive boost from the government yesterday, and that afterglow and a positive New York session has propelled regional markets higher once again. Japan has shrugged off a Fukushima earthquake, the Nikkei 225 jumping by 3.40%. South Korea’s Kospi is 1.75% higher.
China markets are on fire, the Shanghai Composite rallying by 2.60%, and the CSI 300 climbing an impressive 3.20% higher. Both indexes have fully unwound their losses for the week. After a huge day yesterday, the FOMO gnome’s appetite is undiminished in Hong Kong, the Hang Seng has rocketed 6.15% higher today as the street prices in the end of the China tech rout.
Across regional markets, Singapore is up 1.0%, Taipei by a mighty 2.90%, Kuala Lumpur by 1.05%, and Jakarta is unchanged ahead of the Bank Indonesia rate decision. Manila has risen 1.20%, and Bangkok by 0.95%. A similar story is playing out in Australia, boosted by impressive employment data. The All Ordinaries has climbing 1.15% higher, and the ASX 200 by 1.10%.
European markets enjoyed a banner day yesterday, as markets there continue to aggressively price in a Ukraine peace agreement. The warnings from the French Foreign Minister will likely be ignored today as markets are good at being tone-deaf to news that doesn’t suit the narrative. That same theme will likely continue into New York. If a Ukraine agreement acceptable to both Presidents does emerge, I acknowledge that much higher short-term gains are possible before the cold reality of a stagflationary world returns to pour cold water on them.
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