The Hang Seng stabilised Monday after Friday’s sharp losses, closing 0.1% higher. China sought to address investor concerns over new Hong Kong security legislation.
The foreign ministry commissioner in Hong Kong was out defusing the situation, suggesting that the “legislation will alleviate the great concern among the local and foreign business communities about the violent and terrorist forces attempting to mess up Hong Kong”.
In that context, arguably, however, the clouds of dust in Hong Kong have settled quicker than anyone had expected. Local risk sentiment isn’t nearly as gnarly as everyone had feared.
Hence the nature of trading geopolitical risk headlines where the market tends to ride the express elevator both lower and higher.
E-Mini SP500 Futures are currently up nearly 80 bps from where they were on Friday’s low. Traders quickly deduced the HK law as an isolated issue while preferring to focus on individual US states re-opening.
Indeed, optimism around economies re-opening outweighed concerns about rising geopolitical tensions between Beijing and Washington.
With investors mapping stock market risk tangentially to re-opening optimism, interest was further piqued as companies reviving across the US is picking up. About 30 states have opened most non-essential businesses.
On this premise, US stock indexes could move higher with positive mobility data changes as the second derivates of mobility analysis is providing fantastic optic around increased foot traffic and traffic congestion.
Investors are alert for signs of the consumer response to any easing of lockdowns. The positive take on the mobility data suggests fear about the coronavirus is ebbing.
Government support during lockdowns has given many people income to spend. If anxiety is not too significant, they will rush out to shopping malls.
Ultimately, the consumer will need to do the bulk of the heavy lifting. So, confidence to get out of the house and to start to live a normal as well as a healthy life as can be expected will be critical to this recovery. In that regard, mobility does matter.
In Bangkok, where the curve has been flat, the shops were packed at The Central World this weekend. The only thing I found odd was dining with my wife with a Plexiglass barrier between us.
International markets analysis and insights from Stephen Innes, Chief Global Market Strategist at AxiCorp