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Asian shares buoyed by China optimism, markets eye U.S. presidential debate

Published 09/27/2020, 09:01 PM
Updated 09/28/2020, 04:30 AM
© Reuters. A man wearing a protective face mask walks past a screen displaying the world's markets indices outside a brokerage in Tokyo

By Swati Pandey

SYDNEY (Reuters) - Asian markets were powered on Monday by signs China's economic recovery was gaining momentum with pent-up demand, fiscal stimulus and surprisingly resilient exports boosting sentiment across the region.

The brighter mood was seen extending to Europe, with eurostoxx 50 futures and Germany's DAX futures jumping 1.7% each at the open, while London's FTSE futures climbed 1.3%.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan advanced 0.7% to 551.48, but stayed within striking distance of a two-month low of 543.66 hit last week.

The index is set to end the month deep in the red after three straight monthly gains as the coronavirus pandemic continues to wreak economic havoc around the world and raises investor anxiety about sky-high valuations.

Traders also remain cautious ahead of a U.S. Presidential debate on Tuesday and on fears a spike in new coronavirus cases in Europe could dent the global economic recovery.

On the day, Chinese shares opened higher and helped to underpin Asian markets after a tentative start. The blue-chip CSI 300 index was last up 0.3%, paring some of the early gains.

Sentiment in Asia was supported by weekend data that showed profits at China's industrial firms grew for the fourth straight month in August buoyed in part by a rebound in commodities prices and equipment manufacturing.

Economic indicators in August, ranging from exports to producer prices and factory output, have all pointed to a further pickup in the industrial sector thanks to a slew of measures to kick-start the world's second-biggest economy. That has in turn has lent support to the global recovery, though the spike in worldwide COVID-19 cases has raised fresh risks.

Elsewhere, Japan's Nikkei was 1.3% higher, partly on a lower yen, while South Korea's KOSPI index gained 1.35%.

Australia's main share index reversed early losses to finish flat.

The broad gains in Asia follow a Wall Street rally on Friday though analysts expect the gains to be short-lived as expectations for economic growth start to falter.

Particularly worrying is a resurgence of COVID-19 cases in Europe, dousing earlier hopes that authorities might have started to exert some control on the outbreak and raising further strains on businesses already grappling with losses.

"Clouds have started to gather over the developed world as political uncertainty increases in the U.S. and Europe grapples with a resurgence in COVID-19 cases," Kerry Craig, Global Market Strategist, J.P. Morgan Asset Management.

COVID-19 cases are edging closer to 33 million around the globe with 992,470 reportedly dead with Europe seeing a surge in new infections.

"While governments are loathe to re-introduce nationwide lockdowns, localised and sector based restrictions may last for some time, restraining economic activity," Craig added.

Investor focus will next be on the first debate between U.S. President Donald Trump and rival Joe Biden on Tuesday ahead of the November election.

A strong performance in Tuesday's debate by Biden, who currently has a modest lead in betting odds and polls, might boost stocks related to global trade and renewable energy, while a perceived victory by Trump could benefit fossil fuel and defense companies.

Market focus will also be on progress on a new fiscal support package in the United States while investors will be closely watching UK-Europe post-Brexit trade talks as they continue this week.

In currencies, the dollar slipped from a near a two-week high against the Japanese yen to 105.32.

The euro was last at $1.1629, not far from a two-month trough of $.1611 touched on Friday.

The British pound rose 0.3% to $1.2774.

The risk sensitive Australian dollar was slightly firmer at $0.7052 after falling for six consecutive sessions as odds narrowed over the prospect of further monetary policy easing in the country.

In commodities, oil prices came under pressure as renewed mobility curbs in various countries to contain a resurgence of coronavirus cases cloud the outlook on fuel demand recovery.

U.S. Brent crude slipped 37 cents to $41.55 a barrel while U.S. light crude was down 39 cents at $39.86.

© Reuters. The German share price index DAX graph at the stock exchange in Frankfurt

Gold was a shade weaker at $1,858.2, drifting away from an all-time peak of above $2,000 an ounce touched in August.

Latest comments

Hhahaha spike because of the debate, hahahahah. The left is so scared. Cant wait for Trump to destroy sleepy Joe
Destory him with larger net operating loss with the tax returns he so willingly shared with the american public! Cant wait!
 Haha, I don't care about his taxes. Why would you care about his taxes? You're a sour pus because you are were taught to hate successful people. All you Dems talk about is 1) Everyone is racist 2) His taxes 3) Chinese virus. Hahaha, I can debunk your nonsense all day.  If anyone is racist is the Democratic party. Biden, probably the worst of them all for being racist. Taxes irrelevant, if you were a business owner you would know nobody pays taxes. The virus all political by the left, because that is all they have. Cry liberal cry..
Wrong again Reuters. Americans are tired of the politicization of the China virus by the socialist dems holding citizens hostage in an attempt to use to gain unearned power. Americans are anxious to get back to decoupling from China, returning factories and jobs back to America, and growing wealth for our middle and working class families regardless of skin color. The debate will be a humorous display of why seniors suffering from dementia shouldn't be allowed to run for office or be used like a puppet by a fascist anarchist crumbling political party who couldn't tell the truth if it were tattooed on their palms..
 Do a quick search of Executive orders by president, then get back to us on why we should believe anything you write.. tc
Rich getting richer huh? 1990, Jeff Bezos and Mark Zuckerberg didn't exist in any list, but in 2020, they are the richest in the world (#1 and #7.)  I'll take that odd over any BS of equality for all so everyone can use state loopholes.  You don't need to cheat to succeed and not all successful people do.
USA Virus spike is heavy for last many weeks. India and Brazil virus spike is huge too. Rather in India total active cases is ONLY 6 lakhs excluding Maharashtra state thats an outlier. And people get recovered in 3 to 7 days time with moderate medication except for patients with chronic issues. So virus is not at all an issue even if spikes in Europe. So this fear is unwanted in Europe and stock markets - even if it rises no country could lockdown any further due to economy. and USA elections whoever comes to power is irrelevant because policies wont change much either. So both ways these arent issues at all that should panic the investors and why are these projected as main news on a daily basis? just to create panic? BTW we may top out in Nov - Dec 2020 and then a huge fall is seen in all equities markets across globe in 2021.
it's not a debate it'll be a platform for trump to lie about everything to make 32% of Americans happy. green the new red?
Mom come get me I’m scared
wallstreet does not care about the president or presidential debates. for all of 2016 you mor.ons said market would crash if trump won, and then it skyrocketed the day after he won. just la..zy journalists using whatever piece of news they can find to explain every tick of the stock market. nobody cares. nothing matters except how much money the fed is injecting to keep this po.nzi inflated.
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