(Bloomberg) — Stocks in Asia rallied after the best session for U.S. stocks in almost a dozen years, with investors rediscovering some appetite for risk as Congress negotiates an emergency-spending bill.
Even so, U.S. futures declined; American — and global — equities haven’t posted back-to-back daily gains since the first half of February. For now, indexes in South Korea, Hong Kong and Australia climbed more than 3% and Japan was up 5%, after the S&P 500 soared over 9% Tuesday. The dollar extended declines against both developed and emerging currencies in a tentative sign of reduced funding stresses. Treasuries were flat.
More than $20 trillion has been lost from equity markets since the peak in January, and investors have been left sifting the wreckage and weighing the chances of a lasting rebound. On the one hand, Wall Street has begun to argue that liquidations are nearing an end with real-money investors like pension funds ready to step in, and there are signs of improvement in some of world’s regions that were hardest-hit by the virus. But the number of infections globally continues to accelerate and many of the largest economies are grinding to a halt.
“I feel very good being in cash right now because there are going to be phenomenal opportunities when the stimulus is finalized and if we look forward a month or two,” Carol Pepper, chief executive officer at Pepper International, told Bloomberg TV. “We still need to see a slowing of the virus cases and a peaking in the U.S., because until then we’ll have these huge relief-rally days and then we’ll get a scary day and the market will plunge down again.”
Tuesday’s gain in risk assets followed an unprecedented move by the Federal Reserve to backstop large swaths of the financial system. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose more than 11% to clock its biggest advance since 1933. Still, key gauges of U.S. manufacturing and services in March fell the most on record, showing the deep toll the pandemic has already taken.
Elsewhere, gold was steady after a recent surge. Oil added to gains.
These are the main moves in markets:
Japan’s Topix index rose 5% as of 10:25 a.m. in Tokyo.S&P 500 futures fell 0.6%. The S&P 500 advanced 9.4% on Tuesday.South Korea’s Kospi index gained 3.8%.Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index rose 2.6%.The Shanghai Composite gained 1.9%.Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index advanced 3.5%.Euro Stoxx 50 futures dipped 0.3%.
The yen traded at 110.90 per dollar, up 0.3%.The offshore yuan held at 7.0746 per dollar, up 0.2%.The euro bought $1.0799, up 0.1%.
The yield on 10-year Treasuries dipped to 0.84%.Australia’s 10-year bond yield rose eight basis points to 0.97%.
West Texas Intermediate crude rose 3.5% to $24.88 a barrel.Gold fell 0.8% to $1,620.28 an ounce.
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