China’s anti-lockdown protests shake stocks and oil By Reuters
Stock Markets 2 hours ago (Nov 28, 2022 11:06AM ET)
(C) Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A view of a giant display of stock indexes, following the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Shanghai, China, October 24, 2022. REUTERS/Aly Song/File Photo
By Sin?ad Carew and Lawrence White
NEW YORK/ LONDON (Reuters) – U.S. stocks tracked a decline in equities worldwide and oil was sold off on Monday as rare protests in major Chinese cities against the country’s strict zero-COVID curbs fuelled concerns about global economic growth.
A surge in COVID cases and clashes between police and protesters across several major Chinese cities over the weekend also helped push U.S. Treasury yields lower and even safe-haven assets like the dollar and gold were in the red.
“There are concerns over China’s increasing COVID cases and how the government is going to react. We’ve gone from what we considered to be a reopening to likely greater restrictions,” said Matthew Miskin, co-chief investment strategist at John Hancock Investment Management.
“If you’ve got one of the largest economies coming off-line that’s going to weigh on global growth. It’s going to influence all companies one way or another.”
The pan-European STOXX 600 index slipped 0.50% and MSCI’s gauge of stocks across the globe shed 0.71%.
Emerging market stocks dropped 0.94%. MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan closed 1.1% lower, while Japan’s Nikkei lost 0.42%.
Oil prices, sensitive to the strictness of China’s lockdown as a barometer for demand, pared some losses but earlier U.S. crude had fallen to its lowest level since late December 2021. Brent crude after falling to its lowest level since early January, was last trading at $82.49, down 1.36% on the day. U.S. crude was down 0.93% to $75.57 per barrel.
In currencies, the safe-haven Swiss franc and Japanese yen gained, while the Aussie dollar and Chinese yuan underperformed. The U.S. dollar dipped, meanwhile, which analysts said was unusual given its typical safe-haven role.
“It does suggest perhaps that the swing against the dollarin the sense of the broader market mood or market positioning isperhaps running a little bit deeper this morning and that mightwell be significant,” Shaun Osborne, chief FX strategist at Scotiabank in Toronto, said.
The dollar move had some market analysts blaming falling U.S. bond yields which made the greenback less attractive against Japan’s currency.
The dollar index fell 0.292%, with the euro up 0.13% to $1.0409. The Japanese yen strengthened 0.28% versus the greenback at 138.71 per dollar, while sterling was last trading at $1.2044, down 0.41% on the day.
The dollar was down 0.4% against the Swiss franc after earlier falling as much as 0.77%.
In Treasuries Benchmark 10-year notes were down 2.8 basis points to 3.674%, from 3.702% late on Friday.
The 30-year bond was last down 2.7 basis points to yield 3.725%, from 3.752%, while the 2-year note was down 3.9 basis points to yield 4.4402%.
Fears about Chinese economic growth hit other commodities markets, with copper and other metals also falling.
The worries about China’s COVID policies overshadowed any support from the Chinese central bank’s 25 basis point cut to the reserve requirement ratio (RRR) announced on Friday, which would free about $70 billion to prop up a faltering economy.
China had announced a fifth consecutive day of record new local COVID cases with 40,052 infections on Monday, while in Shanghai demonstrators and police clashed on Sunday night as protests flared for a third day.
There were also protests in Wuhan, Chengdu and parts of the capital Beijing as COVID restrictions were put in place.
Gold prices gave up gains after touching a one-week high of $1763.70 per ounce. Spot gold dropped 0.5% to $1,748.07 an ounce. [GOL/]
(Reporting Sin?ad Carew and Karen Brettell in New York, Lawrence White in London, Scott Murdoch in Sydney; Editing by Barbara Lewis, Chizu Nomiyama and Susan Fenton)
China’s anti-lockdown protests shake stocks and oil
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