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Monday, 22 April 2024 17:01

Stocks rebound, oil and gold retreat on tempered Mideast fears

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FILE PHOTO: A man walks under an electronic screen showing Japan's Nikkei share price index inside a conference hall 2022. REUTERS/Issei Kato/File Photo - 



VOInews, TOKYO/LONDON : World stocks recovered some losses on Monday and bonds, oil and gold dipped as investors reversed some of their more defensive positions taken going into the weekend on fears of a wider Middle East conflict.

The week ahead is packed with corporate earnings, with 158 companies in the S&P 500 and 173 companies in the STOXX 600 reporting first quarter results this week according to data from LSEG workspace.

These include several big European banks, as well as U.S. tech giants Microsoft and Alphabet, with the latter in particular focus after chip maker Nvidia's 10 per cent drop on Friday, its biggest percentage fall in four years.

Crucial U.S. PCE inflation data, the Federal Reserve's preferred gauge, due Friday, finishes off the week. After CPI data earlier this month, markets currently see the first Fed rate cut coming in September.

Ahead of all that, shares rose on Monday, with the STOXX 600 up 0.25 per cent and S&P 500 futures 0.36 per cent higher after MSCI's broadest index of Asia Pacific shares outside Japan rose 0.8 per cent. All fell on Friday.

London's commodities-heavy FTSE100 rose around 1 per cent the biggest gainer among large Europpean benchmarks, as tin and nickel rose to new muulti-month highs. [.L][MET/L]

It was outpaced by a 2.3 per cent gain for the Portugese index as oil company Galp Energia had a STOXX 600 topping 17 per cent jump after saying a field off Namibia could contain 10 bln barrels of oil. [.EU]

In a further reversal of Friday's "rise off" mood, gold eased back from near its peaks, U.S. Treasury yields ticked higher and crude oil prices declined as the potential for a major supply disruption waned.

In recent weeks, investors have taken cautious positions on Fridays fearing an escalation in the conflict in the Middle East over the weekend when markets are closed and they are unable to trade.

"It seems neither Israel nor Iran want an escalation in the crisis in the Middle East ... and with a subsequent strike from either side not looking like it's coming, investor concerns have eased somewhat," said Kazuo Kamitani, a strategist at Nomura Securities.

However, Kamitani said expectations of later Federal Reserve interest rate cuts and concerns about chip sector earnings will continue to keep investors on their toes.

Iran said on Friday that it had no plan to retaliate following an apparent Israeli drone attack within its borders, which in turn followed an Iranian missile and drone attack on Israel days before.


Bond yields - which climb when prices fall - rose back toward multi-month highs.

The 10-year U.S. Treasury yield was last up 3 basis points to 4.64 per cent, heading back toward the five-month peak of 4.696 per cent reached last week on the view that the Fed would be in no hurry to ease policy amid robust economic data and sticky inflation. [US/]

European yields also edged higher. [GVD/EUR]

The dollar index, which measures the currency against six major peers, eased 0.05 per cent to 106.05. It was also at a five-month top last week, at 106.51.

"As long as there is this uncertainty about the cutting cylce particularly in the U.S, its interesting for investors to be in dollar longs because of its dual status as a high yielding currency and also a defensive currency," said Yvan Berthoux FX strategist at UBS.

Gold slid 1.3 per cent to $2,358.75, retreating from near the all-time peak of $2,431.29 earlier in the month. [GOL/]

Crude oil fell as traders put the focus back on fundamentals with a rise in U.S. stockpiles as the backdrop

Brent futures fell 137 cents, or 1.56 per cent to $85.92 a barrel. [O/R]//Reuters, CNA-VOI

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