By Syndication Washington Post, Bloomberg · Vildana Hajric, Claire Ballentine · BUSINESS
Banks led the S&P 500 Index to its biggest gain in two weeks as investors found buying opportunities after the gauge fell to its lowest since July last week. More than 10 stocks were higher on the benchmark for every one that fell. HSBC Holdings Plc added almost 9% after its biggest shareholder raised its stake, while an index of lenders rose the most a month. Shares also advanced in Asia.
Signs that U.S. politicians are moving toward new fiscal stimulus has been a boon to stocks in recent days, while the Federal Reserve continues to provide liquidity. Stronger economic reports from China also lifted investor sentiment, with data over the weekend showing profits at Chinese industrial companies grew for a fourth consecutive month in August.
"The Fed is making it almost impossible for you to get too bearish," said John Porter, head of equities at Mellon Investments. "The market is getting more comfortable with the realization that Covid is going to be with us for a while now."
The advance in global stocks was broad, instead of tech-focused, a sign that optimism about global growth and the end of pandemic lockdowns is returning. Still, equities remain on course for the first month of losses since March after investors sold overheated stocks and fears about a resurgence in the virus weighed on airlines and retailers.
"September certainly continued to challenge the intestinal fortitude of the bulls, but charting the S&P 500 from March shows the bull market remains very much intact," said Chris Larkin, managing director of trading and investment product at E*Trade Financial Corp.
In emerging markets, the Turkish lira and Russian ruble weakened as fighting between Armenia and Azerbaijan curbed appetite for the currencies of their bigger neighbors.
Traders Get Fresh Reason to Sell Lira, Ruble as Neighbors Fight
These are the main moves in markets:
- The S&P 500 Index gained 1.6% as of 4 p.m. EDT.
- The Stoxx Europe 600 Index climbed 2.2%.
- The MSCI Asia Pacific Index increased 1.3%.
- The MSCI Emerging Market Index climbed 1.1%.
- The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index fell 0.3%.
- The euro gained 0.3% to $1.1667.
- The British pound jumped 0.7% to $1.2834.
- The Japanese yen rose 0.1% to 105.49 per dollar.
- The yield on 10-year Treasurys rose less than 1 basis point to 0.66%.
- Germany's 10-year yield rose less than one basis point to -0.53%.
- Britain's 10-year yield rose one basis point to 0.20%.
- West Texas Intermediate crude rose 0.8% to $40.59 a barrel.
- Gold strengthened 1% to $1,880.22 an ounce.