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Marketmind: Politicians weigh in

Marketmind: Politicians weigh in
Marketmind: Politicians weigh in   -   Copyright  Thomson Reuters 2021
By Reuters

A look at the day ahead from Danilo Masoni.

For once, it wasn’t central bankers who moved markets but politicians.

First, a hint by Vladimir Putin that Russia is ready to stabilise energy markets turned Wednesday’s 31% gas price surge into a 35% reversal from the day’s peaks – within two hours of the Russian president’s remarks.

Gas prices are still up six-fold this year and that’s a big deal, especially for the euro zone; if gas stays at current levels, it would wipe out Europe’s trade surplus, Deutsche Bank points out.

Still, the gas price turnaround and an associated pullback in crude futures calmed markets, easing immediate concerns over inflation spiralling out of control.

Later in the day, another politician stepped in to soothe mounting concerns over a possible U.S. debt default – U.S. Senate Republican Mitch McConnell said his party would support an extension of the federal debt ceiling into December.

That helped Wall Street close firmer and took ten-year Treasury yields off 3-1/2-month highs, though they remain above 1.5%.

Finally, it emerged that U.S. President Joe Biden would virtually meet his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping this year.

All that means that after tech-led gains in Asia, European and U.S. stock futures are both heading north.

And on the crypto front, the recent rally has eased but Bitcoin is still up 25% this month, helped by news George Soros’ family office is trading the world’s No.1 cryptocurrency.

Graphic: European gas prices – https://fingfx.thomsonreuters.com/gfx/mkt/xmpjokzqevr/morning%20bid.JPG

Key developments that should provide more direction to markets on Thursday:

* Shares of Chinese Estates, a former major shareholder of embattled developer Evergrande, jumped as much as 32% after it announced an offer to be taken private for $245 million.

* British house prices rose by the most in almost 15 years in September

* German real estate company Vonovia has reached 60.3% of voting rights to acquire Deutsche Wohnen

* ECB speakers: Board Member Isabel Schnabel, Philip

* U.S. weekly jobless claims

* Fed speakers: Cleveland Fed’s Loretta Mester