Business Maverick

Business Maverick

China tech lifts Asian stocks from pre-Fed torpor: Markets wrap

China tech lifts Asian stocks from pre-Fed torpor: Markets wrap

Stocks in Asia received a fillip on Tuesday from China’s technology sector, helping to alleviate some of the caution in global markets ahead of a hotly anticipated Federal Reserve interest-rate hike.

An Asian share index pushed higher, with Alibaba Group Holding leading the advance in China tech. The e-commerce giant plans to seek a primary listing in Hong Kong, paving the way for investors in China to directly buy its shares.

S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 futures were in the red but off the day’s lows. Sentiment had taken a knock from a late-day slide in retailer Walmart on a disappointing profit outlook. Its projection could fan worries about corporate prospects as the US flirts with a recession amid tightening monetary settings.

The 10-year US Treasury yield was little changed, oscillating around 2.78%. Traders are braced for a wave of debt sales and a widely expected 75 basis points Fed rate rise on Wednesday, part of a campaign to tackle inflation.

A dollar gauge is near the lowest level since early July. Commodities rallied, taking oil past $98 a barrel. But Bitcoin tumbled to the brink of $21,000.

Markets are bracing not just for the Fed and any policy signals from Chair Jerome Powell, but also corporate reports from the likes of Apple and Alphabet. Other risks include ongoing disruptions to European gas supplies from Russia as well as China’s Covid curbs and property woes.

For Katerina Simonetti, an adviser at Morgan Stanley Private Wealth Management, the litany of risks exposes the vulnerability of the 6% rebound in global shares from June lows.

“This is most likely a bear market rally and there are significant risks still facing this market,” she said on Bloomberg Television. “We’re probably going to be seeing a lot of choppiness and potentially some further declines in the market before the year end.”

In contrast, Ed Yardeni, president of Yardeni Research, argues the S&P 500’s plunge last month to a 3,666.77 low likely marked the trough of the 2022 equity rout. He cites the resilience in corporate earnings and the still-healthy outlook for consumers and businesses even as the US economy slows.

Musk, Tesla and Twitter are this week’s theme of the MLIV Pulse survey. Also share your views on the S&P 500’s biggest stocks. Click here to get involved anonymously. BM


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