Goodbye to all that | Financial Post


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A look at the day ahead in European and global markets from Tom Westbrook:

After three years, travelers are streaming into China by air, land and sea. Long lines snaked through checkpoints at the Hong Kong border. Ferries to Macau swelled with passengers.

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“Life is moving forward again!” the official newspaper of the Chinese Communist Party, the People’s Daily, wrote on Sunday.

“Today, the virus is weak, we are stronger.”

For now, markets are too. MSCI’s Asia ex-Japan index jumped 2% to a six-month high. The yuan punched through its 200-day moving average to its highest since August, and the dollar was in retreat wherever Chinese tourists are expected.

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Meanwhile another farewell came from Jack Ma, who is giving up control of fintech giant Ant Group, setting off gains in a number of Ma-related companies, principally Alibaba, as investors reckon it draws a line under regulators’ attention.

Sentiment also got a boost last week from a benign blend of solid U.S. payroll gains and slower wage growth, combined with a sharp fall in service-sector activity. The twin hopes, then, of a gentler Fed and reviving China are holding recession fears at bay.

Fed fund futures now imply around a 25% chance of a half-point hike in February, down from around 50% a month ago, and focus is now an appearance by Fed Chair Jerome Powell on Tuesday and U.S. consumer price data on Thursday.

Earnings season kicks off this week with the major U.S. banks. Before then, traders are looking to German industrial output data and European unemployment figures on Monday and appearances by Bank of England chief economist Huw Pill and Atlanta Fed President Raphael Bostic later in the day.

In emerging markets, focus is on the open of trade in the Brazilian real after hundreds of supporters of far-right former President Jair Bolsonaro were arrested during an invasion of the country’s Congress, presidential palace and Supreme Court.

Key developments that could influence markets on Monday:

– Fed’s Bostic and BOE’s Pill speak

– Japan’s PM Kishida meets with France’s President Macron

– Euro zone unemployment (November)

(Reporting by Tom Westbrook; Editing by Sam Holmes)


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