FILE PHOTO: People are seen on a pedestrian overpass with an electronic board showing the Shanghai and Shenzhen stock indexes, following an outbreak of the novel coronavirus in the country, at Lujiazui financial district in Shanghai, China March 13, 2020. REUTERS/Aly Song/File Photo
May 5, 2020
By David Henry
NEW YORK Reuters) – A late Wall Street rally is expected to lead Asian stocks higher on Tuesday after tech shares and oil rose on easing coronavirus restrictions and prospects of an economic recovery, overcoming concerns about renewed Sino-U.S. trade tensions.
Futures on major U.S., Hong Kong and Australian indexes were up about 0.3% in early Asia trade after major Wall Street indexes ended up Monday. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite closed up 1.2%.
Oil rose as much as 5% as countries announced they would began easing coronavirus lockdowns and crude supply cuts took effect.
The upturn for stocks came on more optimistic statements from the governors of California and New York for reopening businesses. Andrew Cuomo of New York on Monday outlined a phased reopening in the U.S. state hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Can you lift restrictions and begin to phase in economic activity and yet keep the number of cases at bay? That is what the market is focused on right now,” said Quincy Krosby, chief market strategist at Prudential Financial in Newark, New Jersey.
Early on Tuesday trading in Asia, futures for the S&P 500 were up 0.1% and the Australian S&P/ASX 200 futures were up 0.32%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index futures rose 0.24%. Japan and mainland China markets are closed for public holidays.
The Australian dollar fell 0.02% versus the greenback at $0.643.
The shift in sentiment came too late for European stocks with the pan-European STOXX 600 ending 2.7% lower. There were also concerns about declines in manufacturing in Europe and the U.S.
MSCI’s gauge of stocks across the globe shed 0.69% on Monday. Emerging market stocks lost 3.14%.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.11% on Monday while the S&P 500 gained 0.42%.
The S&P 500 rise was powered by Microsoft, Apple and Amazon. Their strength overcame drops in airline shares of between 5% to 8% after legendary investor Warren Buffett said his Berkshire Hathaway had sold its carrier holdings.
U.S. crude was up 3.87% at $21.18 per barrel and Brent was at $27.97, up 5.79% on the day. “The market continues to price in the idea that things are improving,” said Gene McGillian, vice president of market research at Tradition Energy in Stamford, Connecticut.
Still, an ambivalence about countervailing forces dominated in the U.S. Treasury market. Heavy corporate debt issuance weighed on bond prices after an early round of safe-haven buying and left the yield on 10-year U.S. Treasury notes barely changed at 0.63% compared with 0.64% late on Friday.
“To me that really speaks to…a deep lack of conviction over what comes next,” said Jon Hill, an interest rate strategist at BMO Capital Markets in New York.
The U.S. dollar index rose 0.258%, and the euro was down 0.03% to $1.0903. Spot gold added 0.1% to $1,701.44 an ounce.
(Reporting by David Henry in New York. Additional reporting by Lewis Krauskopf, Karen Brettell and Laila Kearney; Editing by Sam Holmes)