- Damir Sagolj/Reuters
- Asian markets bounced after China was said to have promised to buy $180 million worth of US soybeans, easing market tensions of an escalating trade war with the US.
- The pound is up from 20-month lows after British Prime Minister Theresa May won support from her party in Parliament.
- The European Central Bank’s president, Mario Draghi, is scheduled to speak later Thursday to give an update on euro-area monetary policy, including growth and inflation projections.
A menu of factors affected stock markets on Thursday, including the thawing US-China trade war, global growth, and the European economy and Brexit.
China calmed fears of greater escalation in the trade spat, reportedly making its first major order of US soybeans in more than six months. The European Central Bank is expected to end its bond-buying program but present a gloomy outlook on growth. In the UK, the attempt to oust Prime Minister Theresa May has failed, but what that means for Brexit is still murky at best.
China’s soybean purchase “is a symbolic move seen elevating global sentiment and boosting appetite for riskier assets,” said Lukman Otunuga, an analyst at FXTM. Still, he said, “global equity bulls remain threatened by concerns over plateauing global economic growth, Brexit turmoil,” and “many other geopolitical risk factors.”
Here’s a roundup of global markets:
- Shanghai Composite rose 1.2% while Japan’s Nikkei finished 1% higher, and the MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan rose 0.8%.
- US futures were broadly flat, though the Nasdaq looked set to post a 0.3% gain.
- In Europe, markets are marginally up. The Euro Stoxx 50 is up 0.1% and the FTSE 100 is unchanged, as is France’s CAC 40 and Germany’s DAX index.
- The pound is trading up 0.3% at $1.2665, while the euro is up 0.1% against the dollar.
- Brent crude is down 0.3%.
The European Central Bank’s president, Mario Draghi, is widely expected to keep interest rates on hold and end Europe’s bond-buying program despite eurozone gross domestic-product-growth coming in at 1.7% year-on-year.
China was said to have bought 1.5 million tonnes of soybeans while suggesting it would delay its Made in China 2025 policy and open up to foreign imports.