GLOBAL MARKETS-Asian stocks climb to record highs on Biden stimulus hopes

GLOBAL MARKETS-Asian stocks climb to record highs on Biden stimulus hopes

Reuters  | Jan 21, 2021 14:50

GLOBAL MARKETS-Asian stocks climb to record highs on Biden stimulus hopes

By Andrew Galbraith
SHANGHAI, Jan 21 (Reuters) - Asian stocks scaled to record
highs on Thursday as investors were hopeful the incoming Biden
administration will be able to secure passage of a massive new
stimulus package to cushion the economic damage of the COVID-19
Republicans in the U.S. Congress have indicated they are
willing to work with President Joe Biden on his administration's
top priority, a $1.9 trillion U.S. fiscal stimulus plan, but
some are opposed to the price tag. Democrats took control of the
U.S. Senate on Wednesday, though they will still need Republican
support to pass the program. But after record high closes on Wall Street Wednesday,
markets in Asia reflected relief over an orderly transition of
power and strong expectations that U.S. stimulus will provide
continued support for global assets.
European shares were set to motor on, with pan-region Euro
Stoxx 50 futures STXEc1 up 0.39%, German DAX futures FDXc1
0.4% higher and FTSE futures FFIc1 up 0.6%.
Kay Van-Petersen, global macro strategist at Saxo Capital
Markets, said that Democratic control of the Senate "increases
not just the probability of more fiscal (stimulus), but the
"That means that this market should be way, way, way higher
as a whole and we're going to get there. We're entering this
regime of even more accelerated asset class inflation," he said.
MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan
.MIAPJ0000PUS touched record highs and was last up 0.92%, with
markets across the region posting gains.
Chinese blue-chips .CSI300 added 1.75%, Australian shares
.AXJO climbed 0.79% and Seoul's Kospi .KS11 rose 1.54%.
Japan's Nikkei .N225 was up 0.82%, less than 1% off
three-decade highs reached last week.
The rises in Asia followed fresh record highs on Wall Street
overnight. The Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI rose 0.83%,
the S&P 500 .SPX gained 1.39% and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC
added 1.97%. On Thursday, e-mini futures for the S&P 500 EScv1
ticked up to new records, and were last 0.34% higher.
"The market is still taking a sanguine view to tighter
regulatory/tax risks given the narrow Senate majority, while
still expecting additional fiscal stimulus," Tapas Strickland,
an economist at National Australia Bank, said in a note.
Tech shares stood out after Netflix Inc NFLX.O said it
would no longer need to borrow billions of dollars to finance
its TV shows and movies, prompting a near 17% surge in its
shares. Along with Netflix, the rest of the FAANG group, scheduled
to report results in the coming weeks, rallied. Google parent
Alphabet Inc GOOGL.O rose 5.36%. As equity gauges rose, U.S. stimulus hopes weighed on the
greenback, pushing the dollar index =USD down 0.17% to 90.254.
The dollar was off 0.14% against the yen JPY= at 103.37
and the euro EUR= gained 0.25% on the day to $1.2134.
Benchmark U.S. 10-year Treasury notes US10YT=RR yielded
1.0785%, down from a U.S. close of 1.09% on Wednesday.
In commodity markets, oil prices eased on an unexpected rise
in U.S. crude stocks, though hopes for an economic revival kept
losses in check. U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude CLc1
dipped 0.24% to $53.18 a barrel. Brent crude LCOc1 fell 0.16%
to $55.99 per barrel.
Spot gold XAU= rose 0.15% to $1,873.77 per ounce. GOL/

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