Shares regain footing as lira pulls out of nosedive

Shares regain footing as lira pulls out of nosedive

World share markets fought to regain their footing yesterday, as Turkey’s lira pulled out of its recent nosedive and reassuring data from Germany helped offset the latest wobbles in China’s giant economy.

After three weeks of heavy pounding, Turkey’s lira finally got some respite as signs the country’s authorities were trying to address the situation triggered a five per cent relief rally to 6.5 per dollar.

Yet it had lost almost 10 per cent on Monday alone and nerves were briefly tested again as Turkey’s President Tayyip Erdogan urged Turks to boycott US electronic products in response to recent criticism from Washington.

The rot also stopped for the South African rand, the Russian rouble and the Brazilian real. Argentina’s central bank unexpectedly raised interest rates by 5 percentage points on Monday. Even so, the peso hit a record low.

European shares also steadied after two days of selling as anxieties over contagion from the Turkish currency crisis eased.

After falling to a 21-month low on Monday, euro zone bank stocks initially rose 0.8 before slipping back again, while the cross-sector pan-European STOXX 600 benchmark and Wall Street futures both climbed.

Sentiment was helped as data showed that Europe’s largest economy, Germany, picked up more steam than expected in Q2 , although the markets’ bounce might have been stronger had surveys from China not proved softer than expected.

Chinese retail sales, industrial output and urban investment all grew by less than forecast in July, a triple dose of disappointment that underlined the argument for more policy stimulus in China as trade risks also intensify.

The Shanghai blue-chip index closed down 0.5 per cent and weighed on MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan, which eased 0.1 per cent.

The day’s rise in risk appetite saw bond yields in Spain and Italy dip, although the euro was still struggling at $1.1407 , having touched its lowest since July 2017 on Monday.

It also reached one-year lows against the yen and Swiss franc, safe harbours in times of stress.

The dollar was a touch firmer at 110.89 yen, having hit a six-week trough around 110.10 on Monday. Against a basket of currencies, the US currency was barely budged at 96.300.

In commodity markets, gold briefly slid to its lowest since late January 2017. It was last at $1,195 an ounce.

Oil prices rose after a report from Opec confirmed that top exporter Saudi Arabia had cut production to avert looming oversupply. Brent gained just over a dollar to $73.74 a barrel while US crude added 99 cents to $68.18.

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