Business Standard

No respite for global stocks as banks around the world continue to struggle

The MSCI World share index traded 0.4% lower, while still heading for a 1.5% weekly gain. Europe's STOXX 600 index was down 1 per cent

Bank, Banks, foreign banks

Reuters LONDON
By Naomi Rovnick
LONDON (Reuters) -Global stocks were pressured on Friday and safe-haven buying supported government bonds as concerns about the stability of the banking system lingered.
The MSCI World share index traded 0.4% lower, while still heading for a 1.5% weekly gain. Europe's STOXX 600 index was down 1%.
The STOXX sub-index of bank shares, which had rebounded from earlier falls this week following a forced weekend tie-up between Credit Suisse and UBS bought some stability, fell almost 3% in early trade.
Shares in Deutsche Bank tumbled 8% after a sharp jump in its credit default swaps, which reflect the cost of insuring debt against the risk of default, the day before.
The moves highlight just how frail sentiment remains after turmoil in the U.S. and European banking sectors in the past two weeks have revived memories of the 2008 global financial crisis.
U.S. Treasury sector Janet Yellen has this week tried to assuage investor fears about the health of U.S. lenders and the economic ramifications of a potential lending crunch if depositors flee smaller banks, which have outsized roles in supporting key sectors such as commercial real estate.
U.S. regional banks Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank failed this month and shares in beleaguered First Republic Bank have lost most of their value.
On Thursday, Yellen said she was prepared to take further action to safeguard bank deposits, after saying a day earlier that blanket insurance was not on the agenda. Banks borrowed $110.2 billion at the Federal Reserve's discount window in the latest week, with the hefty drawdown of emergency credit suggesting some lenders were now unable to secure funds elsewhere.
The Federal Reserve raised its main interest rate by a quarter point to a range of 4.5%-4.75% on Wednesday, but signalled it would consider a pause in light of banking system stresses.
Markets, however, are betting on a U.S. recession and incoming rate cuts.
"You could have a period were you see a precipitous drop in the (availability of) credit in the U.S.," said Arun Sai, senior multi-asset strategist at Pictet Asset Management.
"Small banks are important to the real economy," he added. "This takes us closer to a hard landing, to a U.S. recession."
Spot gold, which tends to do well during periods of economic uncertainty, was down 0.4% at $1,985 an ounce.
In government bond markets, the yield on the two-year U.S. Treasury, which tracks interest rate expectations, fell 8 basis points (bps) on Friday to 3.71%.
Ten-year yields fell 6bps to 3.34%, after edging 9 basis points lower in the previous session.
Traders have also priced in U.S. rate cuts of about 90 bps basis points to about 3.9% by the end of the year.
Euro zone government bond yields followed Treasury yields lower, with the 2-year German yields dropping 16 bps to 2.34%.
In currencies, bets on U.S. rate cuts put the dollar on course for a 1% weekly loss against major peers, although it inched 0.2% higher on Friday.
The yen climbed 0.5% to a six-week high at 130.17 per dollar, extending its weekly gain to a solid 1.3%. The euro fell 0.5% to $1.0785.
Brent crude, the global oil benchmark, fell 1.5% to $74.79 per barrel.
(Reporting by Naomi Rovnick; Additional reporting by Stella Qiu; Editing by Dhara Ranasinghe and Angus MacSwan)

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

Don't miss the most important news and views of the day. Get them on our Telegram channel

First Published: Mar 24 2023 | 4:32 PM IST

Explore News