By Christopher Anstey and Robert Brand, Bloomberg
Stocks rallied as global markets attempted an upbeat end to what has been a tumultuous quarter, though both European shares and U.S. equity futures pared some gains on a report President Donald Trump wants to withdraw from the World Trade Organization.
The Stoxx Europe 600 Index and U.S. futures both wobbled before recovering following a report from Axios that President Donald Trump has repeatedly told top White House officials he wants to withdraw the U.S. from the WTO. Treasury yields edged higher, while the dollar declined a second day.
The euro gained the most in a month and Italian 10-year government bonds rose after European Union leaders agreed to a package of measures to stem the flow of migrants, easing concern over a standoff between Italy and the rest of the the trading block. A report that the ECB is considering reinvesting in longer-dated bonds also helped the mood.
Shares in Hong Kong and Shanghai led an advance in Asia earlier, and a gauge of emerging-market stocks climbed the most in more than a year, rebounding from the lowest level in 10 months, as the dollar weakened. The offshore yuan rose, halting an 11-day decline that was triggered by concern about Chinese policy makers’ intentions.
Investors are looking for reasons to cheer at the end of a miserable quarter overshadowed by trade tensions and political risk. Trump’s attitude to the WTO will come as little surprise to traders given his protectionist stance, and while it’s too early to tell how long the European Union’s united front and the respite in the yuan’s decline will last, for now the risks to financial markets appear to have eased.
Elsewhere, the pound rallied against the dollar after data showed the U.K. economy grew faster than expected in the first quarter, boosting the case for an interest-rate increase by the Bank of England as early as August.