Equities Climbed as Chinese Virus Curbs Lifting Spurs Optimism

Equities in Asia climbed after  China eased some virus curbs and Wall Street had its best week since November 2020.

Shares in Mainland China, Thailand, Hong Kong, South Korea and Japan closed on a positive note.

A fourth day of gains for European equities extended their longest winning streak since late March and drove the Stoxx 600 index to the highest in more than three weeks.

Nasdaq 100 contracts climbed more than 1% and S&P 500 futures also rose in a sign the bounce in US stocks may have further to run. The S&P 500 wiped out its May losses and snapped a string of seven weekly declines as institutional investors rebalanced portfolios into the end of the month.

The dollar slipped for a third day versus major peers as havens lost their appeal amid the improved mood. Cash Treasuries weren’t trading because of the US Memorial Day holiday.

Traders are pondering whether the bottom of the selloff is near as investors have been buying the dip after one of the worst starts to the year for equities. However, a wall of worries remains from hawkish central banks underscoring fears of a recession, escalating food inflation from the war in Ukraine and China’s lockdowns stunting economic activity.

Traders will be looking to the US payroll numbers later this week to gauge the Federal Reserve’s tightening path as it strives to rein in inflation. Meanwhile, the Fed is set to start shrinking its $8.9 trillion balance sheet starting Wednesday.

Crude oil jumped on China virus curbs ease with WTI trading around $115 a barrel and Brent trading around $119 a barrel.