U.S. Stocks Edge Higher, With Tech Lagging Behind: Markets Wrap

Andrew Cummings
May 28, 2020

"A steady stream of economic revival indications underpinned the latest rally on Wall Street, inducing the market to brush aside simmering tensions between the US and China", Jingyi Pan of IG said in a commentary.

The US decision over Hong Kong's status is the latest volley in an increasingly acrimonious row between the world's two economic superpowers, with Donald Trump's accusations over Beijing's part in the coronavirus outbreak, Huawei and trade also causing friction.

"This is Europe's moment", EU Commission chief Ursula Von der Leyen said, adding: "We either all go it alone, leaving countries, regions and people behind. or we walk that road together". MSCI's gauge of stocks across the globe shed 0.19%, while the pan-European STOXX 600 index lost 0.31%.

The Nasdaq 100 climbed 0.6% and the Russell 2000 added 3.1%. The S&P 500 climbed past the 3,000 mark for the first time since March 5, up 37% from March lows but still off about 11% from its all-time high in February, and it closed under 3,000.

Elsewhere, palladium dropped 2% to $1,950.97 per ounce and platinum fell 0.4% to $835.31, while silver jumped 0.8% to $17.33. "We hope that it will eventually lead to a normalization in the market, but we have to keep an eye on the re-emergence of virus cases".

The European Commission is to present its own proposal for a recovery fund later on Wednesday, which could determine the near-term direction of the euro.

The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index increased 0.2%.

The Japanese yen weakened 0.2% to 107.77 per dollar.

Jigar Trivedi, research analyst at Anand Rathi Shares & Stock Brokers, said: "MCX Gold traded negative today even though concerns about the United States response to China's proposed security law for Hong Kong countered optimism about a re-opening of the global economy". USA gold futures were flat at $1,711.40.

Global equities and oil rose on Tuesday as China's promise of more stimulus and prospects of a world economic recovery cheered investors, who set aside concerns about tense rhetoric between Washington and Beijing.

MSCI's ex-Japan Asia-Pacific index fell 0.4%, as Hong Kong and mainland China shares extended declines.

China's SSE Composite Index (^SSEC) rose by more than 0.3% on Thursday, while the Hang Seng (^HSI) was down by 0.9% in Hong Kong at market close.

In the offshore markets, the yuan weakened slightly to trade at 7.1852 to the dollar, according to FactSet. The onshore renminbi slipped 0.3 to as low as 7.1595 per dollar; the offshore currency fell 0.4% to 7.1760 per dollar.

Italy's 10-year government bond yield barely changed, last at 1.552%.

In global markets, gold fell to near two-week low of $1,710.01 per ounce as optimism around several economies re-opening somewhat dulled the metal's safe-haven appeal.

China's benchmark Shanghai Composite Index was marginally higher, inching up 0.77 points to 2,847.32, while the Shenzhen Composite Index on the country's second exchange edged up 0.12 per cent or 2.21 points to 1,791.73.

It came after USA secretary of state Mike Pompeo on Wednesday said that Hong Kong was no longer autonomous from China, meaning that the U.S. will rescind Hong Kong's special trade status, which now sees it receive more favourable tariffs than China.

Investors are also closely monitoring the pace of China's economic recovery from the coronavirus crisis.

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