Global Stocks Regain Ground After Losses
By Ben St. Clair
-- Stocks rebound from Wednesday's fall
-- China guides currency lower
-- Commodity futures rise
Stocks in Asia and Europe rose Thursday, a day after major global indexes fell amid concerns over escalating trade tensions and falling oil prices.
The Stoxx Europe 600 was up 0.2% in early morning trading, led by gains in media companies as 21st Century Fox and Comcast bid for control of European pay-TV giant Sky, whose shares were up 2.5% Thursday.
Hong Kong's Hang Seng was up 0.7% while China's Shanghai Composite Index rose 2.2%. Japan's Nikkei rose 1.2% and South Korea's Kospi edged up 0.2%.
Brent crude futures, the global benchmark, were up 1.3% Thursday after the sharpest daily fall since February 2016 a day earlier.
Hong Kong-listed shares in Chinese telecommunications equipment maker ZTE soared 22% Thursday, after the company cleared the last major hurdle to lifting U.S. sanctions. The U.S. Commerce Department in April had banned U.S. companies from selling to ZTE as punishment for the company's failure to honor an earlier U.S. agreement over sales to North Korea and Iran.
Thursday's gains in Asian equities come as China guided the yuan to its largest one-day drop against the U.S. dollar in a year and a half. The central bank, which determines a daily dollar-yuan exchange rate and allows the currency to trade within 2% of that level, set the dollar's reference rate at 6.6726 yuan.
A weaker yuan makes Chinese exports more competitive and its goods more valuable abroad.
The yuan has declined 2.5% against the dollar this year as the greenback has strengthened. The WSJ Dollar Index, which measures the greenback against a basket of other currencies, is up over 5% in the past three months.
The Trump administration said Tuesday it would assess additional tariffs on $200 billion on a variety of Chinese goods, including bicycles, sound systems, refrigerators, pocketbooks, vacuum cleaners, cosmetics, tools and seafood.
The news led to declines across global stocks and commodities, compounded by falling crude prices as Libya indicated it would resume exports.
Copper futures rose 1.1% and aluminum futures edged 0.2% higher.
Yields on 10-year Treasurys rose to 2.863% from 2.844% on Wednesday. Yields rise as prices fall.