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Global stocks rise to record high; dollar slips: markets wrap

Investors are counting on more aid to help propel economic growth under Biden.
Image: Lam Yik/Bloomberg

Stocks climbed to another all-time high Thursday and US and European equity futures rose on optimism that fiscal spending will revive economic growth and bolster corporate earnings. The dollar weakened.

Asian shares rose for a third session as Chinese stocks outperformed and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index hit 30 000 points for the first time since May 2019. S&P 500 futures edged higher after the index posted its best first-day reaction to a presidential inauguration since at least 1937. The tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 Index jumped more than 2%. Netflix Inc. was among companies that gained on solid results. Treasuries were little changed.

In China, the nation’s three biggest telecommunications firms said they requested a review of the New York Stock Exchange’s decision to delist their shares. Separately, Twitter Inc. locked the official account of the Chinese embassy to the US, citing a violation of its “dehumanisation” policy.

Elsewhere, oil dipped as concerns over lackluster consumption amid the pandemic crept back in. The yen was steady after the Bank of Japan kept its main policy settings unchanged. The Australian dollar advanced as the nation’s unemployment rate dropped.

Investors looked past a fresh stumble in the rollout of vaccines and elevated infection rates, toward the promise of increased economic support and an expanded federal effort to get shots to more Americans under President Joe Biden. Stimulus plans in Europe will come under further scrutiny after the European Central Bank’s policy decision later Thursday.

“We are really optimistic about the growth and markets outlook for 2021,” Lale Akoner, senior market strategist at BNY Mellon Investment Management, said on Bloomberg TV. “The reflation trade that has been going on since September has more room to run.”

Investors are counting on more aid to help propel economic growth under Biden. Still, it won’t be all smooth sailing, with Janet Yellen encountering early Republican resistance to Biden’s relief plan in her confirmation hearing to become Treasury secretary.

On the virus front, Germany suffered record daily deaths and a study on the South African variant raised concern about the efficacy of vaccines.

These are some key events coming up:

  • Policy decisions are due Thursday from Bank Indonesia and the European Central Bank.
  • Earnings are due from companies including Kia Motors Corp., Schlumberger Ltd. and Yes Bank Ltd.

These are the main moves in markets:

Stocks

  • S&P 500 futures rose 0.3% as of 6 a.m. in London. The gauge climbed 1.4% on Wednesday.
  • Japan’s Topix index climbed 0.5%.
  • South Korea’s Kospi added 1%.
  • Hang Seng rose 0.1%.
  • Shanghai Composite added 1.4%.
  • Euro Stoxx 50 futures advanced 0.4%.

Currencies

  • The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index slipped 0.2%.
  • The yen was at 103.37 per dollar.
  • The offshore yuan was at 6.4567 per dollar.
  • The euro bought $1.2136, rising 0.3%

Bonds

  • The yield on 10-year Treasuries held at 1.08%.

Commodities

  • West Texas Intermediate crude dipped 0.3% to $53.14 a barrel.
  • Gold was at $1,873.14 an ounce, up 0.1%.
© 2021 Bloomberg

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