Stocks, crude rise on hope China eases strict Covid measures

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                London, Nov 29 (AFP/APP):Stock markets and oil prices rebounded strongly Tuesday, while the haven dollar weakened, on speculation that China would further ease strict Covid containment measures.

                  Sentiment was boosted also after China avoided another night of protests, following a weekend of unrest in reaction to the Covid policy that is slowing growth in the world’s second biggest economy.

                  Stock market gains were led by big rallies in Hong Kong and Shanghai, with property firms enjoying a much-needed surge, also on moves to ease funding restrictions on troubled developers.

                  But sentiment was tempered by warnings from top Federal Reserve policymakers that US interest rates would rise further and could go higher than initially thought to fight decades-high inflation.

                  The remarks were partly to blame for big losses of more than one percent in Wall Street’s three main indices Monday.

                  Europe’s main stock markets were higher in early afternoon trading.

                  “Risk-on sentiment has lifted European equities, boosted by a rally overnight in China,” noted Victoria Scholar, head of investment at Interactive Investor.

                  Oil prices rebounded from 11-month lows, “boosted by improved sentiment towards demand from China”, she added.

                  Qatar announced Tuesday its first major deal to send liquefied natural gas to Germany as Europe scrambles to find alternatives to Russian energy sources.

                  Qatar’s Energy Minister Saad Sherida al-Kaabi said up to two million tons of gas a year would be sent for at least 15 years from 2026, and that state-run QatarEnergy was discussing other possible deals for Europe’s biggest economy.

                  Market focus was meanwhile turning to the United States, with a number of Fed officials due to speak, including boss Jerome Powell.

                  And Friday sees the release of key US jobs data, which could provide an idea about the central bank’s plans for monetary policy.

                  Bets on a slowdown in its pace of rate hikes have boosted markets for the past weeks, but some high-ranking members on Monday looked to play down the chances of a more dovish pivot.

                  – Key figures around 1200 GMT –

                  London – FTSE 100: UP 0.8 percent at 7,532.05 points

                  Frankfurt – DAX: UP 0.2 percent at 14,410.53

                  Paris – CAC 40: UP 0.3 percent at 6,686.05

                  EURO STOXX 50: UP 0.2 percent at 3,945.01

                  Tokyo – Nikkei 225: DOWN 0.6 percent at 28,027.84 (close)

                  Hong Kong – Hang Seng Index: UP 5.2 percent at 18,204.68 (close)

                  Shanghai – Composite: UP 2.3 percent at 3,149.75 (close)

                  New York – Dow: DOWN 1.5 percent at 33,849.46 (close)

                  Brent North Sea crude: UP 3.1 percent at $85.74 per barrel

                  West Texas Intermediate: UP 2.6 percent at $79.27 per barrel

                  Euro/dollar: UP at $1.0384 from $1.0347 on Monday

                  Dollar/yen: DOWN at 137.93 yen from 138.87 yen

                  Pound/dollar: UP at $1.2025 from $1.1952

                  Euro/pound: DOWN at 86.35 pence from 86.50 pence