Feedback | Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Global stocks, metals surge as rate cut expectations firm

Asian shares hit two-year highs while copper and gold struck records on Monday as investors wagered on interest rate cuts around the corner and China stepping up efforts to steady its ailing property sector.

Brent crude futures rose to a one-week high of $84.25 a barrel after a helicopter crash killed Iran’s president and Saudi Arabian state news flagged a health issue for the king, threatening fresh instability in the Middle East.

Gold climbed more than 1% to $2,449.89 and copper futures surged nearly 7% in Shanghai to a record 88,940 yuan a tonne and fetched $11,104.50 in London.

ANZ analysts pointed to tight supply and signs of resilient global growth as helping copper and noted record first-quarter imports of 566 tonnes of gold into China as supporting prices.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was up 0.4%, Japan’s Nikkei rose 0.7% and hit a five-week high and world shares were within a whisker of last week’s record peaks.

S&P 500 futures rose 0.1%, as did FTSE futures and European futures.

China announced “historic” steps on Friday to stabilise its property sector, with the central bank facilitating 1 trillion yuan ($138 billion) in extra funding and local governments set to buy some apartments. It left benchmark rates on hold, as expected.

After last week cheering a slowdown in U.S. inflation and European policymakers’ flagging rate cuts as soon as June, investor focus now turns to policy speeches, meeting minutes, a central bank decision in New Zealand and Nvidia results.

“The week ahead will pivot on the Fed speakers and (Fed) minutes in how they paint the picture of policy risks ahead, with a bias to ease rather than hike essential,” said Bob Savage, BNY Mellon’s head of markets strategy and insights.

Two-year U.S. Treasury yields ended last week four basis points (bps) lower at 4.825% and were steady in Asia trade. Ten-year U.S. yields were down 8.4 bps last week to 4.42%. 

BIG IN JAPAN

Across the Pacific speculation is growing that Japanese rates can lift off zero, which is driving government bond yields there to their highest in more than a decade.

Ten-year yields went up 2.5 bps to 0.975%, the highest since 2013, though the wide gap to U.S. yields left the unloved yen little changed. 

“Something has to give, and if the Bank of Japan has to start to increase interest rates, and that means long end yields will also have to adjust higher as well, and I think we’re starting to see that,” said ANZ’s head of Asia research Khoon Goh.

In currency markets the dollar logged its largest weekly drop on the euro in two-and-a-half months last week, but was steady in Asia morning trade on Monday. 

The euro was a touch stronger at $1.0880 on Monday. The yen was steady at 155.70 per dollar.

The Australian dollar rose 1.4% last week and held at $0.6697 on Monday and the New Zealand dollar hovered at $0.6127. The Reserve Bank of New Zealand sets interest rates on Wednesday and is expected to leave its main cash rate at 5.5%.

Meeting minutes are due from Australia’s central bank and the Federal Reserve. Flash global PMIs are also out this week.

(Reuters)

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