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Japanese stocks lead Asian stocks higher, as US stimulus measures promote a rebound





File picture: A man wearing a protective mask walks in front of a stock quote board outside a brokerage company in Tokyo, Japan, on March 10, 2020 after the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19). REUTERS / Stoyan Nenov

Business news

Stanley White

Koh Gui Qing




Tokyo/New York (Reuters)-Asian stocks rose on Tuesday, and Japanese stocks hit 30-year highs because the Brexit trade deal encouraged investors to take risks and hope that the long-awaited US pandemic rescue plan will be expanded.

MSCI’s broadest index in the Asia-Pacific region excluding Japan rose 0.45%. The Australian stock market rose 0.53%. Japan’s Nikkei index soared 2.4%, reaching its highest level since August 1990. The Chinese stock market bucked the trend and rose, falling 0.32% due to profit taking.

S&P 500 futures rose 0.4%.

The European Stoxx 50 futures rose 0.42%, the German DAX futures rose 0.53%, and the UK FTSE index rose 1.12%, heralding a good start for European trade.

After U.S. President Donald Trump approved a $2.3 trillion stimulus plan to ward off the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, the exchange rate of the U.S. dollar against major currencies fell and U.S. Treasury yields rose.

Although the plan must still pass the Senate, Trump’s approval on Sunday caused Wall Street stocks to hit a record high on Monday due to increased optimism about the economic recovery.

Stephen Innes, chief global market strategist at Axi, said: “With Brexit…and the stimulus deals in the US are now seen in the rearview mirror, we have avoided the worst. It’s comforting.” Broker.

Britain reached a narrow Brexit trade agreement with the European Union on Thursday, only seven days before leaving one of the world’s largest trading blocs.

The strong demand for high-risk assets has put the U.S. dollar (usually seen as a “safe-haven” asset) back into the second line. The dollar fell 0.02% against a basket of major currencies.

Shorting the U.S. dollar has been a popular trade recently, and Reuters calculations based on data released by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission on Monday indicate that this trend may continue. As of the week of December 21, the US dollar short position surged to 26.6 billion US dollars, a three-month high.

The dollar index against a basket of six major currencies fell to 90.137, not far from its lowest level in more than two years.

The pound rose slightly to 1.3483 against the dollar, after confirming a widely anticipated trade agreement between the UK and Europe last week.

The weakness of the US dollar pushed the price of gold up 0.33% to US$1,877.56 per ounce.

Jack Ma’s Alibaba Group Holdings Co., Ltd. rose 6.4% and fell for six consecutive trading days. Analysts said that these gains may be short-lived in light of Chinese regulators requiring the reorganization of Alibaba’s mobile payment and consumer finance arm Ant Group.

Analysts also cited concerns that other large Chinese technology companies may face more government scrutiny, which may inhibit investment in this area.

After falling overnight, oil prices have rebounded globally due to new COVID-19 travel restrictions and fears of increased supply and decreased demand.

Brent crude oil rose 0.45% to US$51.09 per barrel. US crude oil rose 0.48% to $47.85 per barrel.

More fiscal stimulus measures in the United States have also eased concerns about the threat posed by new variants of the coronavirus discovered in the United Kingdom and South Africa.

The yield on the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury bond rose to 0.9381%, but the two-year yield fell back to 0.1270%.

©2020 Reuters. all rights reserved.


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