U.S. Futures Dip After Rally, Asia Comes Off Highs: Markets Wrap

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(Bloomberg) — U.S. futures dropped after the first three-day rally in American equities since mid-February, and Asian stocks came off their highs Friday as investors assess whether the worst is over for the rout in risk assets.

The S&P 500 rose more than 6% Thursday after the U.S. Senate passed a $2 trillion fiscal package. Equity benchmarks were up about 2% in Tokyo, Hong Kong and Seoul, while early gains in Australia gave way to a modest retreat. The MSCI All Country World Index is on course for a 13% rise this week, following a crash that dragged stocks around the globe into bear markets. The dollar stabilized after retreating for three days.

Data are beginning to show the extent of the economic damage of the outbreak — U.S. jobless claims surged to a record 3.28 million last week as businesses shut down to help prevent its spread. While the reading exceeded estimates, U.S. government aid may help to cushion the impact on workers and businesses. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell also sought to assure the public that the central bank wouldn’t run out of crisis-fighting ammunition.

The speed of the rebound has caught some off guard. After falling into a bear market at the fastest rate ever, the S&P 500 just recorded its quickest three-day advance in nine decades. Equities are now in the process of forming a bottom, according to Dan Skelly, head of equity model portfolios at Morgan Stanley Wealth Management.

“While we do believe this will be possibly the sharpest recession in history, it may also be the shortest, so there is room to be optimistic for a second half rebound,” Skelly told Bloomberg TV. “This could be peaking out in four to five weeks in the U.S. and on top of that we’ve already seen the velocity and the magnitude of the policy response come through — this can’t be understated.”

Meantime, the U.S. overtook China for the most coronavirus cases worldwide, as infections in New York surged. China, where the outbreak began, will temporarily suspend the entry of foreigners holding valid visas and residence permits starting Saturday.

”You’ve got this dynamic of how long will this last? And that we don’t know,” Priya Misra, global head of rates strategy at TD Securities, told Bloomberg TV. “The market is pricing in a fairly short duration of weakness” for the economy, she said. “A month from now when we realize we are still stuck at home and the data is not looking any better, that is when you can get a further downside move in yields.”

Elsewhere, European stocks moved higher on Thursday, and sovereign debt rose after the region’s central bank announced it will scrap limits on bond purchases for its emergency program, a landmark decision that gives it almost unlimited power to fight the economic fallout from the virus.

These are the main moves in markets:

Stocks

Futures on the S&P 500 slid 1.1% as of 10:29 a.m. in Tokyo. The S&P 500 rose 6.2% on Thursday.Japan’s Topix Index rose 2.2%.The Shanghai Composite added 1%.Hong Kong’s Hang Seng rose 1.8%.Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index slid 0.3%.Kospi Index jumped 2.5%.Euro Stoxx 50 futures lost 0.7%.

Currencies

The yen was at 108.61 per dollar, up 0.9%.The offshore yuan traded at 7.0862 per dollar, up 0.1%.The euro bought $1.1044, up 0.1%.

Bonds

The yield on 10-year Treasuries slipped three basis points to 0.81%.Australia’s 10-year yield was at 0.93%, little changed.

Commodities

West Texas Intermediate crude rose 29% to $23.06 a barrel.Gold slipped 0.5% to $1,623.26 an ounce.

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