Stocks start week on strong footing as dollar falls and oil rises

Currencies in Asia led gains among emerging market peers

Traders on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange

Traders on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange

 

Most emerging markets currencies rose against a weaker dollar on Monday, while stocks firmed on the back of a rebound in oil prices and as China reported no new local Covid-19 cases over the weekend.

Currencies in Asia led gains among emerging market peers as investors took comfort from China’s health authority report that showed there were no new locally transmitted cases of Covid -19 for the first time since July.

The MSCI’s emerging market stocks index gained 1.1 per cent, after closing its worst week since February on Friday amid concerns about the impact of recent Chinese regulations, both locally and globally.

“Last week, the weakness in stocks and energy markets reflected fears about the impact Delta may have on global growth,” said Jane Foley, head of FX strategy at Rabobank.

“Encouragement has come from China this morning with the announcement that its zero tolerance approach to COVID-19 has brought its local cases back down to nil.”

Foley says the bounce on Monday could also be attributed to bargain hunters taking advantage of the recent sell-off in emerging markets.

The dollar pulled away from nine-month highs, offering most emerging market currencies some support. The MSCI’s index for EM currencies rose 0.3 per cent by 0806 GMT.

Crude-exporter Russia’s rouble rose 0.4 per cent as oil prices recouped some losses on Monday, after suffering their worst week in over nine months. Mexico’s peso also firmed.

Improving global risk appetite also helped lift the South African rand on Monday, while Turkey’s lira rose 0.2 per cent, even as data showed Turkish consumer confidence declined to 78.2 points in August from 79.5 a month earlier.

Market participants are awaiting the US Federal Reserve Bank’s annual economic symposium in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, which will now take place virtually on August 27th and not in person as previously planned.

Currencies in central Europe were mixed, with the Polish zloty firming 0.2 per cent ahead of the release of the Polish central bank’s money supply data at 12pm.

Investors were also looking out for the allocation of the International Monetary Fund’s own currency, Special Drawing Rights, to help low-income countries hit by the coronavirus pandemic. – Reuters