Financial Markets React as China Considers Easing Covid Restrictions

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On Monday, the risk-on mood prevailed throughout markets, with European stocks soaring on persisting hopes China could relax COVID rules. As a result, the euro (EUR) and sterling (GBP) appreciated versus the safe-haven U.S. dollar (USD).

According to a survey released on Monday, investor sentiment in the eurozone climbed in November for the first time in three months, reflecting optimism that this winter’s gas rationing across the continent won’t be necessary due to recent better weather and declining energy costs.

A report released on Monday revealing that German industrial production increased in September, above analyst estimates, also encouraged investors. According to the Federal Statistical Office, industrial output increased by 0.6% from the previous month.

Sterling was last seen trading at $1.1519, up 1,28% in the mid-North American session on Monday, while the euro was up 0.64% at $1.002, its best level since October 27.

European Equity Markets on the Rise

The pan-European STOXX 600 index increased 0.23% as traders pointed out that despite officials’ assurances that they intend to maintain the zero-COVID policy, which calls for lockdowns, quarantining and stringent testing, investors are still betting China would relax its coronavirus controls.

The U.S. dollar index decreased by 0.54% to 110.16 when measured against a basket of currencies. Following news that China would significantly alter its COVID-19 strategy in the upcoming months, it had lost over 2% by the end of the previous week.

Investors were also analyzing Friday’s U.S. jobs report, which revealed that businesses added more positions than forecast (261,000) in October and that hourly wages increased, indicating a persistently tight labor market.

But signs of some improvement in market conditions, coupled with an increase in the unemployment rate to 3.7%, fueled expectations that the long-awaited Federal Reserve turn might be imminent, curbing possible gains for the currency.

On Friday, four Fed members said they would continue to consider a modest interest rate increase at their next policy meeting.

 

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Azeez Mustapha

Azeez Mustapha is a trading professional, currency analyst, signals strategist, and funds manager with over ten years of experience within the financial field. As a blogger and finance author, he helps investors understand complex financial concepts, improve their investing skills, and learn how to manage their money.