ASIAN EQUITIES, COMMODITIES GAIN ON HOPES OF ECONOMIC REBOUND
Asian stocks rose on Wednesday, tracking modest Wall Street gains, as expectations that a vaccine will eventually win the battle against the coronavirus fueled recovery hopes, while tight supply expectations pushed oil prices to a one-year high, Stanley White and Chibuike Oguh reported for Reuters.
MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan rose 0.61%, while Japan’s Nikkei 225 rose 1.12%. Chinese shares rose 0.07% while South Korea’s KOSPI gained 1.05%. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 reversed losses and added 0.18%. US stock futures edged up by 0.18%.
Treasuries extended their rally, pulling benchmark 10-year yields further away from the highest in almost a year and causing the yield curve to flatten slightly. Euro Stoxx 50 futures fell 0.03%, German DAX futures were up 0.03% and Britain’s FTSE futures were up 0.18%, pointing to a subdued start to European trade.
On Wall Street, stocks fluctuated near unchanged for the session, not far from record highs.
The Dow rose 0.19%, the S&P 500 gained 0.04% and the Nasdaq Composite added 0.28%. US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) rose 1.13% to $53.81 a barrel, reaching the highest since February after a larger-than-expected decline in U.S. crude inventories.
Brent crude rose 1.27% to $57.30. Oil prices were also supported after Saudi Arabia said it plans to cut output by an extra 1 million barrels per day in February and March.
Investors are betting that the incoming Biden administration would ramp up US distribution of coronavirus vaccines and spend big on more stimulus, which will contribute to a global economic recovery and increased demand for commodities, analysts say.
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