1. Stocks, Commodities Rally as Treasuries Slide
U.S. equity futures and global stocks rallied, while Treasuries dipped as confidence returned to markets after last week’s turmoil. The move was broad, with stocks tied to economic reopenings and faster growth notching some of the biggest gains. Apple, Tesla and American Airlines Group climbed in early U.S. trading. Retail and travel shares led the advance in Europe’s Stoxx 600 Index. Treasury yields added four basis points to 1.45% and the dollar was steady.
Futures on the S&P 500 Index increased 1% as of afternoon London time.
The Stoxx Europe 600 Index climbed 1.4%.
The MSCI Asia Pacific Index gained 1.4%.
The MSCI Emerging Market Index advanced 1.2%.
2. China’s Economic Recovery Slows Amid Holiday Disruptions
China’s economic recovery slowed in February as factories shut during the Lunar New Year holidays and virus restrictions dampened what’s usually a busy travel season. The official manufacturing purchasing managers’ index fell to a nine-month low of 50.6 from 51.3 in January as export orders plunged, the National Bureau of Statistics said Sunday. The non-manufacturing gauge, which reflects activity in the construction and services sectors, declined to 51.4, versus a median estimate of 52. The composite index dropped to 51.6 in February, the lowest since the virus lockdown a year ago.
3. Goldman Sees Asia Stock Opportunities After Yield-Led Slide
The biggest slump in Asian stocks since March hasn’t shaken the faith of strategists, who recommend buying regional cyclical shares on expectations of a strong economic rebound from the pandemic. Growth can offset rate risks, a Goldman Sachs team including Timothy Moe wrote in a note, saying they prefer value cyclicals and short versus long duration ideas. Sanford C. Bernstein and Oanda Asia Pacific Pte see Asian stocks weathering a global surge in sovereign bond yields to stay ahead of their U.S. peers in 2021.
4. China Region Declares War on Crypto Mining, Stirring Wider Fear
China’s Inner Mongolia has banned cryptocurrency mining and declared it will shut all such projects by April, spurring fears the world’s No. 2 economy will take more steps to eradicate the power-hungry practice. The autonomous region, a favourite among the industry because of its cheap power, also banned new digital coin projects, according to a draft plan posted on the Inner Mongolia Development and Reform Commission’s website on Feb. 25. The aim is to constrain growth in energy consumption to about 1.9% in 2021. Bitcoin extended gains on Monday amid reports of the move, increasing as much as 6% in the session to $47,970.
5. Gold Steadies After Worst Month in Four Years as Yields in Focus
Gold steadied after its biggest monthly slump since late 2016 as dovish comments from the world’s major central bankers helped curb rising bond yields. Last week’s sell-off in sovereign debt stabilized after central banks from Asia to Europe provided reassurance that policy support remains in place. Bets on accelerating inflation are raising concerns that there could be a pullback in monetary policy support despite assurances from the Federal Reserve that higher yields reflect economic optimism for a solid recovery.
6. Ex-French President Sarkozy Found Guilty of Corruption
Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy was found guilty by a Paris court of corruption after he offered to pull strings to help a magistrate land a prestigious job in return for a favour. The 66-year-old was also sentenced to a one-year prison term, though under the French system he’s unlikely to serve it, even if he fails to overturn the verdict on appeal. “Sarkozy used his status as former French president,” said Presiding Judge Christine Mée on Monday as she read out the court’s decision. The conviction of Sarkozy is another setback to a political career that stuttered after his failed 2012 re-election bid. The judgment puts the former president on the back-foot weeks before he’s due back in court on separate charges that he illegally exceeded campaign-spending limits ahead of his electoral defeat.
7. Ambani to Partner Google, Facebook for Payments Business
Reliance Industries, led by Asia’s richest man, along with its partners plans to seek a license to enter India’s burgeoning digital payments business. India’s largest company by market value is teaming up with its investors Facebook and Google, as well as a homegrown technology service provider, Infibeam Avenues, to apply for a license from the Reserve Bank of India. The development was first reported by the Economic Times, which said that a consortium led by the Tata Group and another by Amazon.com were among other applicants.
8. Wealth Fund Newbie Comes In Focus in $1Trillion Sovereign Hub
Even in a city that’s among the few globally to manage around $1 trillion in sovereign wealth capital, ADQ has been making waves as one of the Gulf region’s most dynamic and deal-hungry investors, morphing in a short time from a relatively obscure holding company first known as ADDHC. Through the transfer of government holdings including the domestic stock exchange, alongside a series of investments, ADQ now oversees $110 billion in assets. ADQ has also become Abu Dhabi’s go-to fund to accelerate the economic diversification of one of the world’s top oil exporters. Set up in 2018, it owns companies across the emirate’s non-oil economy, from a stake in a regional food giant, film studios and a steel producer to a low-cost airline and the entity that oversees the nuclear energy program of the United Arab Emirates.
9. EU Vaccine Passports Draw Closer Amid Calls to Speed Up Rollout
European Union health ministers were told Monday they need to ramp up coronavirus vaccinations as the bloc’s executive arm prepares plans for certificates that will ease a return to normality for those who are immunized. On a video call with ministers, EU Commissioner Stella Kyriakides said that more mass testing and genome sequencing are needed to track mutations. In addition to improvements in detection, the bloc’s health chief warned governments they need to accelerate inoculations in the weeks and months ahead to match the increasing pace of deliveries. The European Commission will unveil a proposal this month for a “Digital Green Pass,” which will provide proof that a person has been vaccinated, recovered from Covid-19, or has received a negative test.
10. Dubai Suffered Steepest Population Drop in Gulf Region: S&P
Dubai’s population dropped by 8.4% last year, the steepest decline in the Gulf region, as expatriate workers were forced to leave amid the economic upheaval wrought by the coronavirus pandemic, S&P Global Ratings said. The drop in Dubai — the Middle East’s hub for business and tourism — compares with a 4% decline for the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council, according to S&P estimates. Job losses accelerated in the region last year as the pandemic spread. Expatriates make up the majority of the population in the United Arab Emirates, of which Dubai is a part. Residency permits in the country are usually tied to employment and many expatriates have to leave if they lose their jobs.
Curated from BloomBerg.com