European shares jump and bond markets recover; February PMIs in focus

European shares jump and bond markets recover; February PMIs in focus

LONDON (Reuters) – European shares jumped on Monday as bond yields stayed below their recent spikes, while risk assets also rallied and Wall Street futures indicated the optimism would continue into the U.S. session.

FILE PHOTO: A Wall Street sign is pictured outside the New York Stock Exchange in New York, October 28, 2013. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri

The rise in European shares followed solid gains in Asian stock markets and saw the STOXX 600 up 1.2% by 1202 GMT. London’s FTSE 100 1.1% higher and Germany’s DAX up 0.7%.

The MSCI world equity index, which tracks shares in 49 countries, rose 0.4%, recovering from the previous session’s multi-week low.

The much-anticipated $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill was passed in the U.S. House of Representatives on Saturday, and now moves to the Senate.

In the bond market, key yields fell from highs seen last week when market participants became wary that when economies re-open from coronavirus lockdowns a combination of massive government stimulus and pent-up consumer demand will cause inflation to accelerate.

The U.S. 10-year treasury yield was down around 3 basis points at 1.429% at 1207 GMT, having dropped from Thursday’s one-year high of 1.614% – although it did edge up slightly overnight.

Germany’s benchmark 10-year Bund yield was down around 5 basis points, also below last week’s spike.

(Graphic: Germany 10-year – )

“I think more than anything, people were spooked at the speed of the rise, rather than anything else,” said Michael Hewson, chief market analyst at CMC Markets UK.

“The markets are pricing in a (U.S.) rate hike for next year, and a couple in 2023, and that’s what the Fed needs to push back against – and they haven’t done that aggressively enough.”

He said markets were being boosted by expectations that U.S. Federal Reserve officials due to speak in coming days will provide stronger verbal signals against the rise in bond yields.

“There is little doubt in my mind that central banks will eventually lean quite hard against a sustained rise in yields,” wrote Deutsche Bank strategist Jim Reid in a note to clients.

“They simply can’t afford to see it happen with debt so high.”

PENT-UP DEMAND

PMI data for February is also in focus this week. Germany’s factory activity rose to its highest level in more than three years last month, driven by higher demand from China, the United States and Europe.

Manufacturing in Japan grew at its fastest pace in more than two years in February, as strong orders led to the first output rise since the start of the pandemic.

But China’s factory activity grew at a slower pace than in the previous month, missing market expectations, after COVID-19 related disruptions earlier in the year.

Oil prices jumped on Monday, with Brent crude futures and U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures both up around 1% at 1221 GMT.

Front-month prices for both contracts touched 13-month highs last week. Both contracts ended February 18% higher.

The dollar rose, gaining 0.3% against a basket of currencies by 1222 GMT. The Australian dollar – which is seen as a liquid proxy for risk appetite – recovered some recent losses.

Wall Street looked set for a higher open, with S&P 500 futures up 1.1%. Nasdaq futures were up 1.3% at 1223 GMT, suggesting a recovery for tech stocks.

Bitcoin recovered some recent losses, up 5% at around $47,676 at 1227 GMT.

Also helping sentiment was news that deliveries of the newly approved Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine should start on Tuesday.

Reporting by Elizabeth Howcroft, editing by Ed Osmond and Susan Fenton

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