US equity futures rose with European stocks on Wednesday, buoyed by earnings and hopes for more stimulus. The dollar edged lower alongside Treasuries.
Nasdaq futures rallied and tech shares led gains in the Stoxx 600 Index following strong earnings from Netflix Inc. and chipmaker ASML Holding NV. Procter & Gamble Co. jumped in pre-market trading after boosting its sales and profit outlook on at-home demand. S&P 500 contracts edged higher a day after Janet Yellen unveiled a $1.9 trillion Covid-19 relief proposal to lawmakers.
In Asia, Chinese firms trading in Hong Kong saw the bulk of gains, and the Hang Seng Index approached the 30,000 level. Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. rallied after billionaire Jack Ma resurfaced from months out of public view amid escalating scrutiny over his internet empire.
Investors are counting on more spending to help propel economic growth under incoming President Joe Biden, who is to be sworn in at noon Wednesday in Washington and is planning a flurry of executive orders on his first day. Still, it won’t be all smooth sailing, with Yellen encountering early Republican resistance to Biden’s relief plan in her confirmation hearing to become Treasury secretary.
Yellen — who could be confirmed as soon as Thursday — said that help for the unemployed and small businesses would provide the “biggest bang for the buck.” She urged lawmakers to act in efforts to rescue an economy battered by the coronavirus. She also said the US is prepared to take on China’s “abusive” trade and economic practices, and that the Biden administration won’t pursue a weak dollar.
On the virus front, Germany suffered record daily deaths and a study on the South African variant raised concern about the efficacy of vaccines.
Elsewhere, crude oil edged higher and gold traded at around $1,850 an ounce.
These are some key events coming up:
- Joe Biden takes office as US president on Wednesday.
- Policy decisions are due Wednesday from central banks in Brazil and Canada. The Bank of Japan and the ECB deliver decisions Thursday.
Here are the main moves in markets:
- Futures on the S&P 500 Index climbed 0.3% as of 7:13 a.m. New York time.
- The Stoxx Europe 600 Index increased 0.5%.
- The MSCI Asia Pacific Index gained 0.5%.
- The MSCI Emerging Market Index advanced 1%.
- The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index dipped 0.1%.
- The euro declined 0.1% to $1.2114.
- The British pound advanced 0.4% to $1.368.
- The onshore yuan strengthened 0.2% to 6.468 per dollar.
- The Japanese yen strengthened 0.1% to 103.82 per dollar.
- The yield on 10-year Treasuries jumped one basis point to 1.10%.
- The yield on two-year Treasuries increased less than one basis point to 0.14%.
- Germany’s 10-year yield was unchanged at -0.53%.
- Britain’s 10-year yield advanced one basis point to 0.3%.
- Japan’s 10-year yield decreased one basis point to 0.049%.
- West Texas Intermediate crude advanced 1.3% to $53.69 a barrel.
- Brent crude increased 0.7% to $56.30 a barrel.
- Gold strengthened 0.5% to $1,848.78 an ounce.