Assets rise on strong China data, fading Syria fears
London, September 2, 2013
Emerging stocks, currencies and bond prices rose on Monday, boosted by stronger Chinese data and ebbing chances of an imminent Western military strike on Syria.
Factory activity in China, the world's largest emerging economy, expanded for the first time in four months in August, according to Markit/HSBC PMI data.
President Barack Obama is seeking to persuade a skeptical Congress to approve a military strike against Syria, but is struggling to win over lawmakers from both parties and a war-weary American public.
"The combination of a stronger China PMI print and the postponement of a potential military strike on the part of the U.S. has boosted risk sentiment in the near term, with the oil price now correcting lower," said Societe Generale analysts in a client note.
"This is likely to pave the way for a short-term bounce in the currencies that had been particularly vulnerable to the risk aversion shock triggered by the Middle East crisis."
The MSCI emerging equities index rose 0.7 percent to one-week highs and has recouped most of the 3 percent losses made early last week on concern about the possible U.S. military-led strike. U.S. markets are closed for a holiday on Monday.
Markets close to Syria rallied.
Turkish assets rebounded in a catch-up play after a holiday on Friday. Turkish stocks rose more than 2.5 percent to a one-week high and the lira jumped more than 1 percent. Turkish manufacturing activity picked up in August, above the 50 level which indicates expansion.
The shekel hit a one-week high and has recovered nearly 2 percent from 12-week lows plumbed last week.
Dubai stocks, which were highly volatile last week, dipped after gaining 3 percent on Sunday.
Emerging European stocks and currencies were generally firmer, with the Romanian leu hitting a three-week high against the euro and Hungarian stocks also at a three-week high.
Purchasing managers' indices beat forecasts in Poland and the Czech Republic and also rose in Hungary, survey data showed on Monday, and Russian manufacturing activity shrank again in August but less than in July.
Emerging sovereign debt spreads tightened by 2 basis points to 373 bps over U.S. Treasuries. – Reuters