Stocks Breathe in Relief after Evergrande Bond Deal

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On Wednesday, riskier currencies saw gains and stocks found relief as market jitters concerning China Evergrande eased, as the embattled developer struck a deal. There was a gain of as much as 0.8% in the Euro STOXX 600, as it recovered from its earlier losses in the week, with shares in both Paris and London gaining around 1%. There was a 0.5% gain in US futures, as Wall Street investors also shifted their focus on the policy decision of the Federal Reserve that was due later in the day. Global investors had been concerned about a possible default by the No.2 property developer in China, with worries about the spillover of a collapse disturbing markets in this week.

However, the main unit of Evergrande stated on Wednesday that they had struck a deal with bondholders for settling their interest payments on a domestic bond. This helped calm fears regarding imminent default that could result in global chaos. This news sent the Frankfurt-listed shares of Evergrande 40% higher, after they had hit multi-year lows a day before. It also resulted in an increase in government bond yields, along with riskier currencies like the Chinese yuan and Australian dollar, which kept a cap on the dollar. 

With risk sentiment returning, there was also an increase in yields on 10-year US Treasuries and then fell back to 1.3311%. There was also a climb in eurozone bond yields, while there was a slight easing in the safe-haven yen. Tracking shares in 50 countries, the MSCI world equity index remained flat. Global markets had already begun to calm down as analysts downplayed the risk of Evergrande’s troubles leading to a financial crisis and becoming a ‘Lehman moment’. According to analysts, the focus had shifted to gauging the muted response of Beijing so far amidst concerns about the effects of a slowing Chinese economy. 

Likewise, local financial markets have also been reeling due to months of radical and disruptive reforms. Analysts said that the world has become relatively relaxed about the risk of contagion for now. China shares declined after a two-day holiday, even though the falls remained smaller than anticipated because of a cash injection made by the People’s Bank of China. There was a 0.7% fall in blue chips and Shanghai Composite reversed losses to increase by nearly 0.4%. Digital currencies like bitcoin and ether that are often linked to risk sentiment also increased by 4% to 6%, respectively.

The Australian dollar climbed by almost 0.5% in currency markets before it gave up part of its gains to trade up at 0.3%. The dollar index declined slightly, but wasn’t far off from the one-month high it had reached on Monday. Just ahead of the meeting of the Fed on Wednesday, the dollar remained flat against the euro because the chances of a hawkish Fed was in support of the greenback. Most analysts believe that the Fed will not provide details of its tapering plans, but said that the risks depend on the projection of the rates.