By Lewis Krauskopf and Lawrence White
NEWYORK/LONDON – World stock markets stabilized on Tuesday and oil prices regained ground a day after heavy selling of risk assets, as investors assessed the level of contagion stemming from distress at developer China Evergrande and awaited central bank meetings.
MSCI‘s gauge of stocks across the globe .MIWD00000PUS edged up 0.13%, following Monday’s biggest percentage drop in two months. Wall Street’s main indexes ended mixed after solid equity advances in Europe.
Price moves in bonds and currencies were relatively subdued. On Monday, safe-haven assets drew bids as investors became risk averse. Gold pushed higher again on Tuesday, in a sign of investor caution.
Investors were focused on the situation at Evergrande, where persistent default fears eclipsed efforts by the debt-laden group’s chairman to lift confidence as Beijing showed no sign it would intervene to stem any domino effects across the global economy.
There are “some investors willing to step back in after a pretty big whack yesterday,” said Chuck Carlson, chief executive officer at Horizon Investment Services in Hammond, Indiana.
“The idea that (Evergrande) possibly being ‘contained’ has probably gained a little bit of steam today.”
On Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI fell 50.63 points, or 0.15%, to 33,919.84, the S&P 500 .SPX lost 3.54 points, or 0.08%, to 4,354.19 and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC added 32.50 points, or 0.22%, to 14,746.40.
The Cboe Volatility Index .VIX fell 1.35 points to 24.36 after hitting a four-month high a day earlier.
The pan-European STOXX 600 index .STOXX rose 1%, with Germany’s DAX .GDAXI rising 1.4%.
Canada’s main stock index .GSPTSE gained as the re-election of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberals reassured investors that the outlook for the economy would continue to improve.
Central bank meetings in the United States and elsewhere in the world were soon to take center stage for markets, with a Federal Reserve meeting due to conclude on Wednesday as investors look for when it will ease its bond-buying program.
(Graphic: Evergrande’s debt pile, https://graphics.reuters.com/CHINA%20EVERGRANDE-DEBT/jnvweyjjlvw/CHINA-EVERGRANDE.jpg)
In currency trading, the dollar index =USD fell 0.012%, with the euro EUR= down 0.03% to $1.1722. The Japanese yen strengthened 0.18% versus the greenback at 109.20 per dollar.
“There is just a lot of wait-and-see as far as what is going to happen with the Fed, what is going to happen with Evergrande, and right now if you are trying to make a dollar bet you really just want to wait until you get a better sense of what is going to happen with Evergrande and what the Chinese government is going to do,” said Edward Moya, senior market analyst at OANDA in New York.
Benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury notes US10YT=RR last fell 5/32 in price to yield 1.3243%, from 1.309% late on Monday.
Oil prices edged higher in a see-saw session, as concerns about the global consumption outlook counterbalanced the struggle by big OPEC producers to pump enough supply to meet growing demand.
U.S. crude CLc1 settled up 0.4% at $70.56 per barrel and Brent LCOc1 settled at $74.36, up 0.6% on the day.
Spot gold XAU= added 0.5% to $1,773.09 an ounce.