World stock markets stabilized on Tuesday, September 21, and oil prices regained ground a day after heavy selling of risk assets, as investors assessed the level of contagion stemming from distress at developer China Evergrande and awaited central bank meetings.
MSCI’s gauge of stocks across the globe edged up 0.13%, following the biggest percentage drop in two months on Monday, September 20. Wall Street’s main indexes ended mixed after solid equity advances in Europe.
Price moves in bonds and currencies were relatively subdued. On Monday, safe-haven assets drew bids as investors became risk averse. Gold pushed higher again on Tuesday, in a sign of investor caution.
Investors were focused on the situation at Evergrande, where persistent default fears eclipsed efforts by the debt-laden group’s chairman to lift confidence as Beijing showed no sign it would intervene to stem any domino effects across the global economy.
There are “some investors willing to step back in after a pretty big whack yesterday,” said Chuck Carlson, chief executive officer at Horizon Investment Services in Hammond, Indiana.
“The idea that [Evergrande] possibly being ‘contained’ has probably gained a little bit of steam today.”
On Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 50.63 points, or 0.15%, to 33,919.84, the S&P 500 lost 3.54 points, or 0.08%, to 4,354.19, and the Nasdaq Composite added 32.50 points, or 0.22%, to 14,746.40.
The Cboe Volatility Index fell 1.35 points to 24.36 after hitting a four-month high a day earlier.
The pan-European STOXX 600 index rose 1%, with Germany’s DAX rising 1.4%.
Canada’s main stock index gained as the reelection of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberals reassured investors that the outlook for the economy would continue to improve.
Central bank meetings in the United States and elsewhere in the world were soon to take center stage for markets, with a Federal Reserve meeting due to conclude on Wednesday, September 22, as investors look for when it will ease its bond-buying program.
In currency trading, the dollar index fell 0.012%, with the euro down 0.03% to $1.1722. The Japanese yen strengthened 0.18% versus the greenback at 109.20 per dollar.
“There is just a lot of wait-and-see as far as what is going to happen with the Fed, what is going to happen with Evergrande, and right now if you are trying to make a dollar bet you really just want to wait until you get a better sense of what is going to happen with Evergrande and what the Chinese government is going to do,” said Edward Moya, senior market analyst at OANDA in New York.
Benchmark 10-year US Treasury notes last fell 5/32 in price to yield 1.3243%, from 1.309% late on Monday.
Oil prices edged higher in a see-saw session, as concerns about the global consumption outlook counterbalanced the struggle by big producers of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries to pump enough supply to meet growing demand.
US crude settled up 0.4% at $70.56 per barrel and Brent settled at $74.36, up 0.6% on the day.
Spot gold added 0.5% to $1,773.09 an ounce. – Rappler.com