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Finance Market meltdown relents as US futures point to major rebound

At the close in Asia, all major share indexes had pulled back at least some of their losses from the past week, though all remained significantly lower than they were at the start of the week.

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(Reuters / Kai Pfaffenbach)

  • Global markets rallied Friday after several days of aggressive selling.
  • "It's a pause for breath, we've had a sharp drawdown and now the market has taken a breath," Kerry Craig, a global market strategist at JPMorgan Asset Management, said.
  • Stocks in Asia and Europe were higher, while US futures pointed to gains of more than 1% in US equities a few hours before the opening bell.

Stock markets in Europe and Asia rallied Friday, with US futures pointing to a significant rebound after a fierce sell-off gripped global markets over the previous four days of trading.

By 7:10 a.m. ET, about 2 1/2 hours before the US market open, futures pointed to both the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq bouncing by more than 1% and the Dow Jones opening 0.9% higher.

The rebound reflected similar ones around the globe. At the Asian close, all major share indexes had pulled back at least some of their losses from the past week, though all remained significantly lower than they were at the start of the week.

In Europe, indexes at the end of the morning were almost all in positive territory, with a 0.7% rally in the UK's FTSE 100 the standout.

Stephen Innes, the head of trading for Asia Pacific at Oanda, attributed the rally to tiredness in the market.

"This market is exhausted from all after the most significant sell-off in global equities since February," he said in an email on Friday morning.

Kerry Craig, a global market strategist at JPMorgan Asset Management, echoed the sentiment, saying: "It's a pause for breath, we've had a sharp drawdown and now the market has taken a breath."

He added: "It's like a Jenga tower. The market has been a tower of blocks, it's been strong over past 12-18 months but then a few of the bottom blocks have been knocked out. That doesn't mean it's going to collapse, it just means there's more risk in the market than there had been."

Here's how things look out there:

ASIA: Major indexes climbed, with the China A50 index gaining close to 2.5% and Hong Kong's benchmark Hang Seng index jumping about 2.1%. Stocks are still down substantially from the beginning of the week, however.

EUROPE: European stocks have broadly bounced back from Thursday's sharp falls, with a sea of green across the continent in the first hour of trading. The FTSE is 0.7% higher at 7,027 points, while Germany's DAX is 0.2% up, and France's CAC is 0.5% higher.

US FUTURES: After a 2% fall for the Dow on Thursday, it looks as if Friday should see US equities bounce a little. Futures point to all three major US indexes gaining when they open at 9:30 a.m. ET. Dow futures are up 0.9%, S&P 500 futures point to a 1% gain, and the Nasdaq is set to bounce 1.6%.

GOLD: Gold rallied sharply during the broader market sell-off, reflecting its role as a haven asset in times of turmoil. Thursday's gain of 2.5% was gold's largest in percentage terms since June 24, 2016, the day after the UK voted to leave the European Union. It has pulled back Friday, reflecting the end of the rout, and is down about 0.25% at $1,224 an ounce.

VOLATILITY: The Cboe Volatility Index, better known as the VIX, more than doubled in the past week but has now pulled back from its highs. On Thursday the index hit 24.5, its highest level since February's market correction, but by Friday morning it has dropped to 19.8.

CRYPTO: Cryptocurrencies have also rebounded following a rout that saw many tokens lose more than 10% of their value. Bitcoin, which dropped as much as 5% on Thursday, has regained its composure and is 0.25% higher at $6,316 a coin.

OIL: After losing as much as 3% of its value and briefly dropping below $80 a barrel, oil has rallied also, gaining 0.5% to trade at $80.63.

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