Global Markets: 'Trump trades' on boost to economic growth come back with a bang
The Japanese yen was the biggest underperformer among major currencies, as is typical when riskier assets like stocks are doing well. Photograph: (Reuters)
World stocks and bond yields rose on Monday, lifted by a re-emergence of so-called "Trump trades" as investors bet that the US president's tax reform plans will boost economic growth and corporate profits.
Following on from Friday's record high closes on Wall Street, Asian stocks rallied to 1-1/2-year peaks and European stocks rose for the fifth consecutive session on Monday, their longest winning stretch for two months.
The Japanese yen was the biggest underperformer among major currencies, as is typical when riskier assets like stocks are doing well.
Investors were also comforted by the two-day US-Japan summit held over the weekend apparently having ended smoothly without President Donald Trump talking tough on trade, currency and security issues.
"Markets have continued Friday's upbeat theme," said Kathleen Brooks, research director at City Index in London, noting that the VIX measure of US stock market volatility closed last week below 11 for the third week in a row.
The last time this happened was over a decade ago.
"This is another sign that, for now, the Trump trade is still on. It also suggests that even with the controversy Trump has caused since he took office, financial markets are still willing to give him the benefit of the doubt," Brooks said.
Europe's benchmark index of leading 300 shares was up 0.3 per cent at 1453 points, lifted by the mining and basic resources sectors. Basic resources rose 2.5 per cent to their highest since August 2014.
Germany's DAX was up 0.4 per cent, led by a 15 per cent rise in drugmaker Stada after the company said it had received two offers for the acquisition of the company, one of which is private equity group Cinven Partners LLP.
MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan gained 0.5 per cent, with resource-related stocks again the driving force, while Japan's Nikkei rose 0.4 per cent.
US futures pointed to a higher open on Wall Street. The S&P 500, Dow Jones Industrials and Nasdaq Composite all posted record closing highs on Friday.
Comments from Trump on Thursday that he plans to announce what he said would be the most ambitious tax reform plan since the Reagan era in the next few weeks rekindled hopes for big tax cuts.
Economic data from major economies has also been upbeat, including Friday's Chinese trade figures, while US corporate earnings have been also solid so far.
In the weekend meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Trump held off from repeating harsh rhetoric that accused Japan of taking advantage of US security aid, stealing American jobs and "playing money markets." Nor were currency issues discussed.
"The US president has shown further signs of conformity in US foreign policy during his weekend summit with Japan's prime minister Abe," Rabobank analysts said in a note on Monday.
Those apparently cordial discussions drove the dollar as much as 0.9 per cent higher against the yen to 114.17 yen. It last stood at 113.65 yen, up 0.4 per cent on the day and extending its rebound from a 10-week low of 111.59 yen touched last week.
Figures on Monday showed that Japan's economy grew for a fourth straight quarter in the final three months of last year as a weaker yen supported exports, but doubts over the sustainability of the recovery persisted.
The euro's rise of 0.5 per cent against the yen to 121.00 yen, helped lift the European currency slightly against the dollar. The euro was last up 0.1 per cent at $1.0650, inching further away from Friday's three-week low of $1.0608.
The euro has been dogged by fears about a strong showing for French far-right leader Marine Le Pen ahead of a presidential election.
Ten-year US Treasury yields rose 3 basis points to 2.44 per cent.
In commodities, copper hit its highest levels since May 2015 after shipments were shut off from the world's two biggest copper mines - due to a strike in Chile and an export's ban by Indonesia.
It last traded at $6,129 per tonne, up 0.7 per cent on the day. On Friday it jumped more than 4 per cent, its biggest one-day rise in almost four years.
Oil prices dipped slightly after strong gains on Friday on reports that OPEC members delivered more than 90 per cent of the output cuts they pledged in a landmark deal that took effect in January.
International benchmark Brent crude futures fell 0.8 per cent to $56.25 per barrel.