Stocks rebound after Evergrande-driven rout

LONDON (AFP/APP): European stock markets rebounded Tuesday, with investors nervously keeping an eye on troubled property giant China Evergrande after fears over its possible collapse sparked a rout across global markets.
London stocks advanced 1.1 percent around midday, while Frankfurt won 1.4 percent and Paris gained 1.5 percent in early afternoon eurozone deals.
Major European markets had fallen between around one and two percent Monday, similar to drops seen on Wall Street.
The picture was mixed in Asia Tuesday, with Hong Kong closing up 0.5 percent, while Tokyo slumped 2.2 percent and Shanghai was closed for a Chinese public holiday. Oil prices and bitcoin recovered, while the dollar traded mixed against main rivals.
On the corporate front, shares in Universal Music, the world’s biggest label with a lineup of megastars from The Beatles to Taylor Swift, surged on its stock market debut Tuesday, giving the company a valuation exceeding $50 billion.
French gaming startup Sorare, which offers users the chance to collect and trade virtual football stickers, meanwhile said it had raised a record $680 million (580 million euros) from investors, valuing the group at $4.3 billion.
“Sentiment improved a little on Tuesday after Monday’s big rout amid concerns about the fallout from Evergrande’s debt woes had roiled markets,” said ThinkMarkets analyst Fawad Razaqzada.
“The better mood is a reflection of optimism about travel returning to some form of normalcy after the United States announced it will allow fully vaccinated people to travel to the US.”
Washington announced late Monday that it will lift Covid travel bans on all air passengers in November if they are fully vaccinated and undergo testing and contact tracing.
The news boosted the travel sector but investors remain gripped by the crisis at Evergrande — one of China’s biggest developers.
Markets are also juggling an expected tightening of US monetary policy, rising Covid infections, a slowing global recovery, elevated inflation and a brewing energy crunch.
The OECD on Tuesday warned of an “uneven” global economic recovery as it lowered its 2021 growth forecasts for the world and the United States while raising the outlook for Europe.
In Asia trading, Hong Kong-listed real estate firms — which took the brunt of the selling on Monday, tanking more than 10 percent — eked out gains.
Henderson Land, New World Development, Sino Land and Sun Hung Kai Properties all rose, while Macau-based casino operators also enjoyed gains after last week’s crash fuelled by plans for a government crackdown on the industry.
But Evergrande, which has fallen more than 80 percent this year alone, ended further in negative territory.
Attention is on what happens next in the Evergrande saga, with the firm — wallowing in debts of more than $300 billion — due to pay interest to bondholders on two notes on Thursday. Focus this week is also on the Fed’s latest policy meeting, with observers predicting it will set out its timetable for tapering the vast bond-buying monetary easing programme that has been a key driver of a global recovery for more than a year.
A battle in Washington to raise the US debt limit was also fuelling concern that the government could miss payments on its debt obligations, sparking a disastrous default.