We assume we’ve made our position on this pretty clear… but apparently Citi remain unconvinced.
To wit: “If the Chinese market were to double from here it would indeed be in bubble. The same is true for Asia, a doubling would put us back at 3x book which over the last 40 years has been the peak – four times. When we get close to those levels we will be in a bubble, till then it’s a bull market.”
From their GEMs team, which has been preaching China equities for quite a while (with our emphasis): Read more
Just going to leave these few charts here for a second…
That’s from BNP Paribas, this is via Tom Orlik and a few others: Read more
A Chinese rendering of jusqu’ici tout va bien courtesy of Bloomberg:
The chief China strategist at Bocom International Holdings Co. points to soaring price-to-earnings ratios, the shrinking yield advantage that stocks offer over bonds and the fact that mainland-listed equities now trade at a 34 percent premium over nearly identical shares in Hong Kong.
So what’s Hong’s advice to investors?
Keep buying, of course.
Biggest fall in five years that, even if it’s still up 35 per cent this year. Might be time to talk about the potential consequences of all this, no? Read more
Nice from Simon Rabinovitch at the Economist:
One middle-aged man, Mr Xu, had come to meet a manager to inquire about how to subscribe to initial public offerings; their average first-day gain has been about 40% this year. He said he had taken the afternoon off work for the meeting and could hardly conceal his glee. “I’ve been trading since 1992 (just two years after the Shanghai Stock Exchange was established) and I guarantee you this bull market will last,” he said. He confessed to getting badly bruised by the last big one – his portfolio of 500,000 yuan had swollen to 3 million yuan by 2007 at the peak of the market, before falling back to its original level.
At the other end of the spectrum in terms of experience was Ms Zhou, 25, an interior designer with dyed-blonde hair. Like many other young professionals, she had previously put a big chunk of her savings in an online investment fund marketed by Alibaba, an e-commerce company. The fall in interest rates has reduced the return on that fund, pushing her to look for alternatives. “I had been thinking for a while about buying stocks but I had to travel for work and missed the best opportunity,” she sighed. “I will be conservative at first. Just one or two thousand yuan. Or maybe ten thousand.”
Which says a lot about the mechanical nature of this “super-bull” run. There’s simply quite a bit of money in China and a limited number of places for it to go. Once one is found… Read more
Consider this from Gavekal’s Chen Long on the run up in China’s A-shares:
Today was just an ordinary day:
As FastFT noted, Shanghai-listed shares jumped 6 per cent in six minutes in morning trade, despite opening the day lower. The exchange’s official Sina Weibo microblog posted shortly afterwards that operations were running normally. Read more
Yes, we know it’s not new, but the divergence between stock markets and commodity prices is now looking extreme. Consider this chart from Julian Jessop at Capital Economics…
Lately it seems like no amount of happy newsflow about the latest Greek reprieve or positive US data can lift the Shanghai Composite:
Asian stocks fell on Monday after S&P downgraded the US credit rating, Bloomberg reports, extending the worst global slump since the bull market began in 2009. There were signs that downgrade had already been priced in, however, after a solif week of losses in many equities markets. Gold again hit new records, heading close to $1,700 an ounce, and the Swiss franc also climbed against the dollar. By late morning in Hong Kong, the FTSE All-World Asia Pacific index excluding Japan was down 2.4 per cent, having lost 8.5 per cent last week in a global market rout, the FT reports. The Hang Seng was 4.2 per cent lower at 20,064.45, while in Tokyo the Nikkei 225 was down 1.3 per cent at 9,178.03 and in Sydney the S&P/ASX 200 fell 1.9 per cent to 4,027.70. On the Chinese mainland, the Shanghai Composite tumbled 4.8 per cent to 2,500.03. However Treasuries were little affected in Asian trading, with US 10-year bond yields rising 2 basis points from Friday to 2.58 per cent. Crude oil futures fell 3.3 per cent in New York. Several bankers told the FT that the US debt ceiling brinkmanship in July had already spurred much of the preparation for such an event.
1. Create a favorable public opinion climate for the two holidays [including Spring Festival] and “two meetings” (NPC and CPPCC). Do a conscientious job of channeling [public opinion] on such hot topics as income distribution, the stock market and property market, employment and social security, education and public health and sanitation, and safe manufacturing, explaining the issues and dissolving tensions.
A successful sale of Portuguese bonds has unleashed a wave of buying, as oil and share prices continue their rise to fresh two-year highs, reports the FT’s global market overview. The FTSE All-World equity index is up 1.5 per cent – a fresh 27-month high – commodities are firmer and the dollar is weaker as residual optimism regarding global growth prospects continues to see racier assets trundle higher. The S&P 500, up 0.8 per cent, is at its best level since September 2008, with the ongoing $600bn of Federal Reserve quantitative easing and the sharp rise in oil prices providing further support, especially to energy shares. US 10-year yields, the global benchmark, are up 1 basis points to 3.35 per cent, falling 7 basis points from their peak after an auction of $21bn of 10-year notes saw demand push the yield at sale lower than expected. The FTSE Asia Pacific index is up 0.9 per cent, supported by a 1.5 per cent rise in Hong Kong as HSBC led banks higher, while energy producers got a boost from higher crude oil prices. Shanghai added 0.6 per cent as surging coal prices helped miners. Japan’s Nikkei 225 was flat , though an overnight slip for the yen lent support to some exporters.
Global stocks are brushing their best levels in nearly 27 months, before the collapse of Lehman Brothers, as investors continue to place bets that better economic growth in 2011 will power risky assets yet higher, the FT’s global market overview reports. The FTSE All-World equity index was up 0.2 per cent to 216.7, commodities were mixed and the dollar lower. Markets were unfazed as South Korea began a large-scale military exercise near the border with the North. The Kospi index fell just 0.03 per cent on soft technology stocks. Hopes that an improvement in the US economy will add an extra boost to growth in 2011 is continuing to buoy sentiment, pushing the FTSE Asia Pacific index up 0.4 per cent, close to the best levels since July 2008. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 rose 0.4 per cent to a six-week high, after Riversdale Mining climbed as much as 2.2 per cent to A$16.84 on the back of Rio Tinto’s formal $3.9bn offer. China’s Shanghai Composite was down 0.8 per cent as oil refiners lost ground on concerns that operating costs would increase following recent gasoline and diesel price hikes. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng was off 0.1 per cent and India’s Sensex was down 0.2 per cent. The FTSE 100 has tickled the 6,000 level in early skirmishing, up 0.2 per cent at 5,998 as resources stocks continue their storming run. The FTSE Eurofirst 300 index was up 0.1 per cent. The dollar index was down 0.3 per cent at 80.45, while the Korean won was up 0.4 per cent to the greenback as traders brushed off any worries surrounding Seoul’s military exercises.
It looks like the Santa Rally is flagging, but then the old boy has had a good run, the FT’s global market overview reports. Bourses in Europe opened flat, the FTSE All-World index was up just 0.06 per cent, US stock futures were little changed and many industrial commodities were weaker. The FTSE Asia-Pacific index was up 0.1 per cent. Japan’s Nikkei 225 dipped 0.2 per cent, though in earlier trading exporters got a lift from figures showing a 9.1 per cent rise in Japan’s exports in November compared with a year earlier. South Korea’s Kospi Composite was 0.1 per cent higher after investors remained largely unruffled by South Korea’s announcement that it would conduct a live-firing drill on Thursday near the border with the North. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index rose 0.1 per cent, with oil-related shares benefiting from Beijing’s increase in gasoline and diesel prices. But on the mainland the Shanghai Composite fell as the rally in property stocks faded. India’s Sensex was up 0.2 per cent and Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 rose 0.1 per cent. The FTSE Eurofirst 300 was up just 0.1 per cent, while London’s FTSE 100 was flat as the oil and gas sector shed some of its recent gains.The euro has reclaimed the 200-day moving average around the $1.31 level, though judging from moves in other crosses this is as much about a period of dollar weakness than it is of single currency strength. The euro was up 0.3 per cent to $1.3132, while the dollar index, which tracks the buck against a basket of peers, was down 0.2 per cent to 80.50.
An easing of tensions between North and South Korea and supportive comments on the eurozone from the Chinese government emboldened bulls, reports the FT’s global market overview. The FTSE All-World equity index was higher by 0.8 per cent and copper was leading commodities as the red metal hits a fresh record. The euro was firmer, though delve deeper and it is clear Chinese authorities are less sure of the prospects for the currency bloc. Nevertheless, for now, the market mood is upbeat, and the S&P 500 on Wall Street was higher by 0.5 per cent to a fresh 27-month peak, gaining support from more M&A activity and after Adobe beat earnings forecasts. The FTSE Asia Pacific index added 1.1 per cent, and South Korea’s Kospi index gained 0.8 per cent as the tensions on the Korean peninsula eased. Japan’s Nikkei 225 rose 1.5 per cent, after the Bank of Japan left its ultra-loose monetary policy unchanged, as widely expected. China’s Shanghai Composite added 1.8 per cent, as funds picked up property stocks that have had a difficult time of late on worries over Beijing’s drive to cool speculative activities. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng advanced 1.6 per cent, with energy stocks in good form as the winter draws in. A better day for broader risk appetite was initially taking its toll on “safe” sovereign bonds, though losses were minimal. The yield on the US 10-year note is down 1 basis point to 3.33 per cent
An easing of tensions between North and South Korea and supportive comments on the eurozone from the Chinese government has emboldened the bulls, the FT’s global market overview reports. The FTSE All-World equity index was higher by 0.5 per cent, copper was leading commodities as the red metal hit a fresh record, and the dollar was slipping as risk appetite picked up. The FTSE Asia Pacific index was up 1.1 per cent, and South Korea’s Kospi index gained 0.8 per cent as the tensions on the Korean peninsula eased. Japan’s Nikkei 225 rose 1.5 per cent, after the Bank of Japan left its ultra-loose monetary policy unchanged, as widely expected. China’s Shanghai Composite added 1.8 per cent, as funds picked up property stocks that have had a difficult time of late on worries over Beijing’s drive to cool speculative activities. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng advanced 1.5 per cent, with energy stocks in good form as the winter draws in. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 index advanced 0.7 per cent and India’s Sensex was up 0.8 per cent. The FTSE Eurofirst 300 was up 0.5 per cent and London’s FTSE 100 was higher by 0.5 per cent, with miners and energy again in the driving seat. The dollar is suffering from the improved mood across the market as its haven attractions wilt. The dollar index, which tracks the buck against a basket of peers, was down 0.5 per cent to 80.27.
European bourses have opened mixed as seasonal bullishness suffers a chill, reports the FT’s global market overview. Cold war-type tensions in Korea, the cold shoulder for the euro and the cold weather affecting much of the continent means a difficult start to the holiday-shortened trading week. The FTSE All-World index was flat, the FTSE Eurofirst 300 was higher by 0.1 per cent and London’s FTSE 100 was off 0.1 per cent as miners, banks and retailers fell back but gas and electricity groups saw buyers. The FTSE Asia-Pacific index was down 0.4 per cent with South Korea’s Kospi, which at one point was off 1 per cent, losing 0.3 per cent. Japan’s Nikkei 225 fell 0.9 per cent and Australia’s S&P-ASX 200 declined 0.6 per cent. In China, the Shanghai Composite lost nearly 3 per cent in early trade as worries about tighter monetary conditions also affected sentiment. The SCI finished off 1.4 per cent, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index was lower by 0.8 per cent. The geopolitical concerns are helping support the traditional haven currencies such as the dollar, Swiss franc and yen, though moves are meagre in early European trade. The buck was up 0.1 per cent on a trade-weighted basis to 80.41, while the euro was down 0.1 per cent to $1.3166 as eurozone debt woes weigh.
Trading was cautious as dealers awaited the next developments in the long-running eurozone fiscal saga, the FT’s global market overview reports. The FTSE All-World equity index was down 0.3 per cent following a soft showing in Asia, while commodities were mixed, the dollar weaker and core bond yields off their highs. The FTSE Asia Pacific Index was down 0.3 per cent, but volumes in many centres were thin as traders continue to close positions ahead of the year end. South Korea’s Kospi Composite fell 0.4 per cent, the market taking a breather after hitting a three-year high on Wednesday, while the Shanghai Composite and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng lost 0.5 per cent and 1.6 per cent, respectively. In Shanghai, banks lost ground on continued concerns about additional tightening measures from Beijing. Trading was cautious ahead of the Spanish debt auction. The FTSE Eurofirst 300 was up 0.2 per cent and London’s FTSE 100 was higher by 0.3 per cent, with bask still under some pressure on sovereign debt exposure concerns. The dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was up 1.1 per cent to 80.22 in the previous session. The euro was up 0.2 per cent to $1.3240 and sterling, which fell sharply on Wednesday after UK labour data showed the jobless total and unemployment rate rising for the first time in six months, was up 0.3 per cent at $1.5593.
Risky assets took a step backwards, led by a decline in the euro after Moody’s said it may downgrade Spain’s credit rating and pushed along by still-rising US interest rates, reports the FT’s global market overview. Moody’s said it was putting Spain’s Aa1 rating on review for possible downgrade, citing Madrid’s large debt and its funding requirements in 2011. But a batch of positive US economic data had seen investors buying the dollar and giving a small lift to Treasury yields, all of which weigh on the euro, which was down 0.8 per cent at $1.3273. Treasury yields were also higher, escaping the orbit of haven flows and real money buyers attracted by rising rates. The benchmark 10-year yield was up 4 basis points to 3.516, its highest in seven months. The 30-year was nearing an eight-month high at 4.494 per cent, up 7 basis points. The FTSE Asia Pacific index fell 0.9 per cent after hitting its highest intraday level in 29 months on Tuesday. Sentiment in Asia was further damped by the Bank of Japan’s Tankan survey for December showing that confidence among big manufacturers fell for the first time in seven quarters. Japan’s Nikkei 225 dipped 0.1 per cent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng was hit by the Moody’s news, with a late slide leaving it down 2 per cent. Airlines struggled on concern of lower profits while expectations of additional monetary tightening measures hit developers. The Shanghai Composite shed 0.5 per cent and India’s Sensex was down 0.8 per cent.
Early-rising European dealers were rattled by the return of eurozone fiscal angst after Moody’s said it may downgrade Spain’s credit rating, reports the FT’s global market overview. It was the tail end of the Asian trading session before the Moody’s decision hit the wires, so response to the news has been relatively meagre in some exchanges. The FTSE Asia Pacific index was down 0.8 per cent after hitting its highest intraday level in 29 months on Tuesday. Sentiment in Asia was further damped by the Bank of Japan’s Tankan survey for December showing that confidence among big manufacturers fell for the first time in seven quarters. Japan’s Nikkei 225 fell 0.1 per cent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng was impacted by the Moody’s news, with a late slide leaving it down 2 per cent. The Shanghai Composite shed 0.5 per cent and India’s Sensex was down 0.5 per cent. Bucking the trend, Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 eked out a fractional gain as banks were firmer, and South Korea’s Kospi was up 0.4 per cent to a fresh 37-month high as Seoul was an oasis of global growth hopes. The FTSE Eurofirst Bank index was down 1.6 per cent, dragging the broad FTSE Eurofirst 300 lower by 0.5 per cent. London’s FTSE 100 was off 0.5 per cent as softer commodities also hurt miners and Spain’s Ibex 35 was down 1.9 per cent. The euro was off 0.4 per cent at $1.3320 and down 0.1 per cent at Y111.84. The dollar index, which tracks the buck against a basket of its peers, was up 0.3 per cent to 79.69. The greenback had rallied sharply off its lows on Tuesday after the surge in Treasury yields following the Fed’s monetary policy announcement attracted income-seekers.
Trading was positive but cautious as investors welcomed mounting evidence of global economic recovery but remained wary of an imminent rate rise from Beijing and signs of further stress in the eurozone, the FT’s global market overview reports. The FTSE All-World equity index was up just 0.1 per cent, commodities were firmer and top-rated bond yields were lower as the heavy recent selling of debt continued to abate. Currencies were relatively stable, though the euro had given up early gains as Spanish bond yields moved back up towards euro-era highs. The FTSE Asia-Pacific index was down 0.1 per cent, held back by a 0.7 per cent slip in Japan’s Nikkei 225 as its good run came to a halt on signs of a possible halt to the yen’s recent slide versus the dollar. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 rose 0.1 per cent, but Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index was down 0.1 per cent as banks and developers came under pressure. On the mainland, the Shanghai Composite, which has been underperforming global peers for some time on monetary tightening fears, was up 1.1 per cent, recovering from an earlier fall after China reported a surge in imports and exports. The FTSE Eurofirst 300 index was up fractionally, while London’s resource-heavy FTSE 100 was down 0.2 per cent. The US dollar has been trading in tight ranges against key rivals while the euro was a bit firmer in spite of concerns about the bloc’s debt problems. The buck was down 0.1 per cent to 80.0 on a trade-weighted index and off 0.1 per cent against the single currency at $1.3245.
A slight pullback in sovereign bond yields and hopes for Asian economic growth have put bulls on the front foot, reports the FT’s global market overview. The FTSE All-World equity index was up 0.5 per cent, the dollar was a touch weaker and commodities were firmer. The S&P 500 futures index was suggesting Wall Street will open higher by 0.6 per cent, a two-year high. The FTSE Asia-Pacific index was up 1 per cent, with financial shares bolstered by a firm showing from their Wall Street peers. Japan’s Nikkei 225 Average rose 0.5 per cent, a seven-month high as the yen’s recent weakness helped exporters. Sentiment improved further after the Japanese government revised upwards the July-September GDP growth rate to an annualised 4.5 per cent, from a preliminary 3.9 per cent rate. South Korea’s Kospi Composite surged 1.7 per cent to a three year high, led by a strong tech sector, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index gained 0.3 per cent as insurers advanced after Standard & Poor’s raised its outlook for the US life insurance industry. However, the Shanghai Composite Index fell 1.3 per cent as investors continue to express fears for an imminent rate rise by the People’s Bank of China. The FTSE Eurofirst 300 was up 0.7 per cent and London’s FTSE 100 was higher by 0.7 per cent as banks see buying. The trade-weighted dollar index was off 0.1 per cent to 79.92 and the buck was down 0.1 per cent relative to the euro at $1.3269. The yen was strengthening versus the dollar after the previous session’s losses, up 0.2 per cent to Y83.83, and was up 0.1 per cent to Y111.19 per euro.
Asian markets rallied on Thursday as they took their cue from healthy rises in the previous session in Europe and the US on hopes that the European Central Bank was set to step up its bond buying programme to calm the eurozone debt markets, the FT’s global market overview reports. In Asia, the Nikkei 225 climbed 1.8 per cent to 10,168.52, while the Shanghai Composite rose 0.7 per cent to 2,843.61. Yet the focus of the day remains Europe’s sovereign debt markets as many investors hope for action by the ECB to stabilise government bond markets. European stock markets opened in buoyant mood with the FTSE 100 up 0.4 per cent at 5,662 and the FTSE Eurofirst 300 up 0.2 per cent. The euro, which gained more than 1 per cent in the previous session against the dollar, was steady at $1.3135 against the US currency in early trading on Thursday. Commodity markets were also benefiting from the more upbeat mood in Europe as well as promising recent economic and jobs data out of the US and Asia. Copper was up for the third session in a row, briefly touching a high of $8,716 a tonne, just $250 short of its record of November 11.
Sovereign debt worries in Europe remain the key focus for markets on Wednesday as Portugal looks to tap the bond markets for €500m, the FT’s global market overview reports. The auction will be closely watched by investors as concerns have heightened in recent weeks that Portugal could be the next country to require an EU bail-out. On Tuesday, Jean-Claude Trichet, ECB president, left open the possibility of the bank significantly expanding its government bond purchases, warning markets not to underestimate Europe’s determination to resolve the escalating eurozone crisis. This helped sentiment with European stock markets opening higher. The FTSE Eurofirst 300 climbed 0.9 per cent to 1,076.74 and the FTSE 100 was 0.9 per cent higher to 5,579. 90. In Asia, stock markets were also higher with the Nikkei 225 almost recapturing the 10,000 mark, climbing 0.5 per cent to 9,988.05. China’s Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) climbed to 55.2 in November, a seven month high, helping turn around earlier losses in mainland Chinese equities. The Shanghai Composite was up 0.1 per cent. The euro, which plumbed new 11 week lows on Tuesday, recovered earlier losses from Asian trading to climb to $1.3075 against the dollar.
Concerns that Ireland’s debt problems will spread to other European markets weighed on investor sentiment on Tuesday, with Asian markets closing mostly lower across the region, the FT’s global market overview reports. However, European markets made inroads into Monday’s heavy losses with the FTSE 100 climbing 0.6 per cent in early trading to 5,581.93 and the FTSE Eurofirst 300 rising 0.3 per cent to 1,072.56. The Shanghai Composite index hit a fresh seven-week low, closing down 1.6 per cent at 2,820.18, having pared back earlier heavier losses of more than 3 per cent. Japan’s Nikkei 225 closed 1.9 per cent lower at 9,937.04 on Tuesday but still managed to record gains of 8 per cent for November, its best monthly performance since March. The euro, which on Monday fell 1.5 per cent in European trading as investors dissected the €85bn bail-out terms for Ireland, was holding firm on Tuesday at $1.3135, just above a 200-day moving average of $1.3128. The euro was down about 6 per cent against the dollar for the month of November, a performance not much better than in May this year when the single currency fell 7.5 per cent at the height of the Greek crisis.
Another day and another miserable session for the Chinese stock market, which fell 1.3 per cent overnight to a seven week low.
According to brokers it was this chart which spooked everyone: Read more
Hopes for an improving US economy are doing battle with an irritating trio of market imps – monetary, fiscal and political – at the end of a volatile week, reports the FT’s global market overview. Earlier today, the gremlins were on top. The FTSE All-World equity index was down 0.4 per cent and commodities were under pressure. Worry was pushing money into perceived havens like the dollar and core bonds. Better data out of the States – supported by well-received corporate earnings and the Federal Reserves’s $600bn backstop – had provided flurries of positivity over recent days. The S&P 500 in New York rose 1.5 per cent, for example, on Wednesday following upbeat news on jobs and consumer sentiment. News of artillery fire within North Korea spooked Asian stocks in late trade, further hurting a region already wary of eurozone fiscal woes and potential monetary tightening in China. The Kospi in Seoul was off 1.3 per cent, Shanghai down 0.8 per cent and Hong Kong lower by 0.6 per cent. The Nikkei 225 in Tokyo lost 0.4 per cent, but has climbed almost 10 per cent in November as foreign investors have returned to the market. In Europe, Bourses were forecast to open down about 0.7 per cent in response to the signs of stress in the euro and the falls in Asia. The euro dropped to a fresh 2-month low versus the dollar as heavier trading returned following Thursday’s holiday-thinned session and as dealers fretted about the economic and political health of the eurozone. The single currency was down 0.6 per cent to $1.3279.
Investors are making modest additions to riskier bets, emboldened by signs of improvement in the US economy, reports the FT’s global market overview. But trading is likely to be thin for much of the session without the guidance of Wall Street, which is closed for the Thanksgiving holiday. The FTSE All-World equity index summarises the action. It was up 0.1 per cent, while activity in the forex markets was equally moribund, with the euro up just 2 pips versus the dollar. The Shanghai Composite rose 1.3 per cent, with consumer goods doing well on hopes for US demand, and the Hang Seng in Hong Kong was higher by 0.1 per cent. Seoul’s Kospi has eked out a 0.1 per cent gain. Tokyo added 0.5 per cent as the softer tone to the yen continued to help exporters, pushing the FTSE Asia-Pacific index up 0.3 per cent. In Europe, bourses have mostly opened fractionally higher as the region prices in the extra bit of late gains out of New York overnight. With little macroeconomic data on the slate, and Wall Street shut, stocks are likely to take their guide from any developments in the eurozone fiscal crisis. The FTSE Eurofirst 300 and London’s FTSE 100 were up 0.3 per cent, with miners providing support. The single currency sat at $1.3318, just above an eight-week low. Chartists will be eyeing the $1.33 level nervously because the euro has tentatively bounced off it on several occasions in the past 24 hours and any decisive break below could deliver a further flurry of selling. The dollar index was up 0.1 per cent to 79.79, while the Korean won was down 0.6 per cent to trade at 1,140 to the buck as tensions in the peninsula bring out the sellers. Oil is pausing after its 3 per cent rise in the previous session on the back of improved US economic data. US oil futures are trading electronically despite the Thanksgiving holiday and the January contract was down 0.2 per cent at $83.68 a barrel.
Crises of the eurozone and the Korean de-militarised zone encouraged traders to shun riskier assets and move into perceived havens like the dollar, reports the FT’s market overview. The All-World equity index was down 0.7 per cent, industrial commodities were sliding and core bonds were seeing demand. The South Korean won plunged nearly 4 per cent. Many major exchanges had already finished trading by the time news hit the wires of the fire fight between the North and South Korean militaries. The Kospi in Seoul had closed down 0.8 per cent, while Japan was shut for the Labour Thanksgiving Day. The FTSE Asia-Pacific index was down 1.6 per cent. The Hang Seng was off 2.7 per cent, as developers were again sold sharply, while Shanghai was down 2 per cent. The S&P/ASX 200 in Sydney fell 1.2 per cent, pressured by the resources sector following a slide in commodities overnight. The euro was struggling to find a foothold despite better than forecast surveys on German service and manufacturing activity in November, and the single currency was down another 0.4 per cent to $1.3566. The dollar was benefiting from the sense of anxiety relating to the eurozone and Korea, rising 0.3 per cent on a trade-weighted basis to 78.86.
Chatter among traders of an imminent 75 basis point hike in Chinese interest rates delivered a whipsaw session in Shanghai, somewhat eclipsing the optimism garnered from hopes that a putative Irish bail-out will halt eurozone sovereign debt contagion, the FT’s global market overview reports. The Shanghai Composite fell more than 2 per cent at one stage as the mooted monetary tightening – designed to suppress rising inflation in the People’s Republic – trumped hopes for a solution to Dublin’s debt problems and some positive US economic data overnight. However, Chinese stocks rallied sharply into the close, finishing up 0.8 per cent, possibly on a report that Beijing would release soybeans and vegetable oils from the state reserves. The FTSE Asia-Pacific index was down just 0.04 per cent with Japan’s 225 Nikkei Average up 0.1 per cent and South Korea’s Kospi Composite 0.7 per cent higher. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index was up 0.2 per cent, rebounding alongside its mainland cousin. The euro was up 0.2 per cent against the dollar at $1.3672 as traders awaited further developments on an Ireland bail-out. On Thursday, Wall Street bounced back from several weak sessions as traders took heart from the likelihood that Ireland would agree to a bail-out, thereby, supposedly, reducing the chances of further eurozone sovereign debt contagion. The S&P 500 index rose 1.5 per cent, while the Vix index, which measures expected market volatility and is considered a gauge of investor anxiety, fell 14 per cent to 18.8.