Equities, oil bounce back from last week’s tumble

LONDON (AFP/APP): Stocks and oil rebounded Monday on bargain-buying from last week’s blow-out, with traders riding a wave of optimism following pre-weekend Wall Street gains.
“Markets enter the new week with some renewed optimism, having ended the previous week’s tumultuous ride in positive fashion,” noted Interactive Investor analyst Richard Hunter.
“Although volatility is likely to persist given lighter summer volumes, the weakness which the markets endured for the majority of the previous trading sessions tempted some investors to buy on the dips.”
The positive start was mirrored in oil markets, with both main contracts enjoying big gains, having suffered heavy losses recently owing to concerns that the Delta spread variant would impact demand as countries restrict people’s movements.
Fears about the Covid mutation have rattled world markets as it forces some governments to reimpose containment measures, while sentiment was jolted further last week by minutes from the Fed’s July meeting indicating it could start withdrawing its vast financial support by year’s end.
The colossal bond-buying programme and record-low interest rates have been a key pillar of the global recovery for more than a year, and the prospect of the cash being withdrawn has stalled that advance.
However, Dallas Federal Reserve boss Bob Kaplan, who is considered a policy hawk, suggested he could rethink his view to taper soon in light of the Delta variant’s global march, which is showing signs of hobbling economic growth.
Focus is now on Fed chief Jerome Powell’s speech to the Jackson Hole annual conference of central bankers and finance chiefs, with hopes for a clue about a taper timetable.
Bitcoin back above $50,000
Bitcoin topped $50,000 on Monday for the first time in three months after supportive news from payments giant PayPal and cryptocurrency platform Coinbase.
The world’s most popular virtual unit jumped to $50,440 during Asian trade, before easing to $50,350 in early morning London deals.
“Bitcoin continues its recent recovery… as PayPal announces plans to launch its cryptocurrency trading platform in the UK,” said AJ Bell analyst Danni Hewson.
PayPal will this week begin to allow users in Britain to buy, hold and sell cryptocurrency through the online payment platform for the first time.

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