Stocks

Asian tech shares jump, China property stocks rally as Evergrande makes payment

Reuters Tokyo | Updated on October 22, 2021

Cyclical stocks drag amid worries that central banks will tighten monetary policy to tackle persistent inflation

Tech stocks climbed in Asia on Friday, following US peers higher, while Chinese property stocks rallied following a surprise interest payment by debt-ridden property developer China Evergrande Group.

Meanwhile, cyclical stocks dragged amid worries that central banks will need to tighten monetary policy to slowing growth in order to tackle persistent inflation.

Regional bond yields rose with those on US Treasuries, where the market priced in higher inflation by narrowing the spread between short- and long-term yields, and pushing break-even rates to the highest since 2012.

The dollar held gains from overnight — when it rose the most since the start of last week against major peers — as better jobs and housing data boosted the case for a faster tapering of Federal Reserve stimulus and earlier interest rate hikes.

Japan’s Nikkei rose 0.7 per cent led by technology shares, while energy shares were the biggest drag. The broader Topix added 0.3 per cent, with a 0.6 per cent jump in the Topix growth index handily outpacing a 0.1 per cent advance for the value index.

Chinese blue chips gained 0.3 per cent, with the CSI300 Real Estate Index rising 2.5 per cent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng rose 0.4 per cent, as an index tracking Hong Kong-listed mainland developers rallied 4.3 per cent.

Australia’s benchmark index slipped 0.2 per cent as commodity-linked shares fell.

Evergrande Group

China Evergrande Group wired funds to a trustee account on Thursday for a dollar bond interest payment due September 23, a source told Reuters on Friday, days before a deadline that would have plunged the embattled developer into formal default. The stock jumped 5.4 per cent.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan edged down 0.1 per cent.

Tech shares lead charge

Meanwhile, S&P 500 E-minis futures slipped 0.1 per cent after the cash index posted a record closing high overnight, led by surging tech shares.

The S&P 500 added 0.3 per cent, while the Nasdaq Composite rallied 0.6 per cent, although the Dow Jones Industrial Average edged slightly lower.

Next week, almost all the so-called FAANG giants reported earnings: Facebook, Apple, Amazon, and Google-owner Alphabet. Netflix posted its results on October 19, and for the quarter that ended in September, diluted earnings-per-share came in at $3.19, beating analyst expectations of $2.57.

“The narrative over the last couple of days has been earnings focused and tech stocks have led the charge,” said Kyle Rodda, a market analyst at IG Australia. “There’s momentum there, simple as that.”

At the same time, he said concerns over growth and inflation has raised speculation that central banks will increase interest rates, potentially crimping growth, and that is weighing particularly heavily on cyclical shares.

Oil prices

Oil prices resumed their climb on Friday, after dropping back from multi-year highs reached earlier in the week, amid continued tightness in US supply.

Brent crude added 0.2 per cent to reach $84.77, while US West Texas Intermediate crude rose 0.2 per cent to $82.65.

Also see: Oil climbs on tight US supply even as coal, gas crunch eases

Yields on benchmark 10-year Treasury notes were at 1.6922 per cent, holding close to a five-month high of 1.7050 per cent reached overnight. Two-year yields at 0.4484 per cent were also close to the overnight high of 0.4560 per cent, a level not seen since March of last year.

The dollar index, which gauges the greenback against six major rivals, was largely flat at 93.730 on Friday,maintaining the previous session’s 0.2 per cent gain.

Published on October 22, 2021

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