U.S. Futures Gain as China Moves to Contain Virus: Markets Wrap




 

(Bloomberg) -- U.S. equity-index futures climbed as China took steps to contain the spread of a deadly virus that had rattled international markets, while European stocks erased an advance amid mixed corporate earnings.

Contracts on the three main American equity indexes all gained. The Stoxx Europe 600 Index opened higher, taking a cue from gains in Asia, though a decline in giant chipmaker ASML Holding NV weighed on the benchmark and other tech stocks. Shanghai shares erased losses after Beijing said it will start a nationwide screening effort to tackle the outbreak, though news that the deadly illness had spread to Hong Kong damped the mood.

In Italy, sovereign bonds and bank stocks dropped after reports that governing coalition member and Five Star Movement leader Luigi Di Maio could announce his resignation as soon as Wednesday. Treasuries and the dollar were steady. The yen dipped after gaining Tuesday on news of the contagion and potential disruption to spending during China's week-long Lunar New Year. The yuan steadied, after tumbling the most in almost five months Tuesday in onshore trading.

A sense that China is coming to grips with containing the respiratory virus gave traders the chance for bargain-hunting following yesterday's declines, even as millions are set to travel during the holiday. Helping sentiment were growth data that topped estimates in South Korea, continuing a recent run of macro reports that have supported the case for a recovery in global economic expansion.

"I would expect a lot of people -- candidly, like we are -- that are looking for opportunities to buy rather than sell" amid the dip in stocks caused by virus-contagion worries, Lamar Villere, partner and portfolio manager at Villere & Co., said on Bloomberg TV. "I don't think this is going to be the beginning of the end."

Elsewhere, West Texas crude slipped to about $58 a barrel as ample global supplies offset the loss of exports from Libya.

Here are some events to watch out for this week:

Companies including Johnson & Johnson, Texas Instruments Inc., Intel Corp. and Procter & Gamble Co. will post results.Policy decisions are due from central banks in Canada, Indonesia and the euro region.The World Economic Forum, the annual gathering of global leaders in politics, business and culture, continues in Davos, Switzerland.

These are the main moves in markets:

Stocks

Futures on the S&P 500 Index advanced 686.6% as of 9:27 a.m. London time.Nasdaq 100 Index futures gained 0.5%.The Stoxx Europe 600 Index was little changed.Italy's FTSE MIB Index dipped 0.5%.The MSCI Asia Pacific Index jumped 0.6% to 173.55.

Currencies

The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index was little changed at 1,195.58.The British pound was little changed at $1.3052.The euro was little changed at $1.1086.The Japanese yen weakened 0.1% to 109.95 per dollar.The Swiss franc weakened 0.4% to $0.9726.

Bonds

The yield on 10-year Treasuries was unchanged at 1.77%.Germany's 10-year yield increased less than one basis point to -0.25%.Britain's 10-year yield declined less than one basis point to 0.628%.Italy's 10-year yield climbed four basis points to 1.412%.

Commodities

West Texas Intermediate crude dipped 0.7% to $58 a barrel.Gold was little changed at $1,557.47 an ounce.Natural gas rose 0.3% to $1.90 per mmbtu.

Todd White, editor

--With assistance from Christopher Anstey and Andrew Janes.

To contact the reporters on this story: Adam Haigh in Sydney at ahaigh1@bloomberg.net;Todd White in Madrid at twhite2@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Sam Potter at spotter33@bloomberg.net, Robert Brand

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