Asian stocks rose, U.S. stock futures came off earlier lows and the dollar halted an eight-day rally as investors took stock of stimulus measures, giving tentative signs of returning appetite for riskier assets. Gains in Hong Kong’s equity market topped 3% and shares in Australia and South Korea climbed about 4%. S&P 500 futures erased more than half their earlier losses. The Australian and New Zealand dollars rose, with indications the recent dash for the dollar was ebbing somewhat. Australian bonds kept their gains as the central bank began buying bonds. China’s offshore yuan rose despite the weakest daily fixing of its currency in 12 years. Crude rose after its record surge Thursday.
There were signs of buyers returning in U.S. equities Thursday when the Nasdaq Composite Index climbed, with Tesla Inc., Twitter Inc. and Netflix Inc. all up at least 5%. Trump sought to reassure skeptical Republicans that he’s aiming to help workers through the crisis, not necessarily corporations, a priority made all the more urgent after data showed U.S. jobless claims came in higher than expected.
“We are now starting to lean into risk,” Chad Morganlander, senior portfolio manager at Washington Crossing Advisors, told Bloomberg TV. “The tail of this is going to be potentially somewhat more extended than what the overall market thinks, so we’re not going to get back to business as usual for the next three months, but the policy backdrop across the globe will help soften the blow.”
The latest efforts to mitigate the damage include the Bank of England cutting its bank rate and increasing its bond buying program, the European Central Bank launching a 750 billion euro ($815 billion) debt-buying plan, and the Federal Reserve’s support for money-market mutual funds. South Africa cut interest rates and Germany may authorize emergency debt issuance.
But looming over everything is