• By The Financial District


Asian shares advanced on Thursday as markets’ euphoric mood over COVID-19 vaccines and the prospects of more political predictability and economic stimulus under the incoming Biden administration overrode a slate of weak US economic data, Hideyuki Sano reported for Reuters on November 26, 2020.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan rose 0.3% while Japan’s Nikkei gained 0.6%. US S&P 500 future rose 0.2% in Thursday’s Asian trade while Nasdaq futures rallied 0.4%. MSCI’s broadest gauge of the world’s shares covering 49 markets added 0.1% to bring its gains so far this month to 12.7%, on course to make its biggest monthly gain on record.

The rally started after Democrat Joe Biden’s US election victory earlier this month raised hopes for more government spending to support the pandemic-hit economy and for more policy predictability after four years of Donald Trump’s presidency. “Reduced policy uncertainties are helping markets. It will be easier for companies to make capital expenditures,” said Arihiro Nagata, general manager of global investment at Sumitomo Mitsui Bank.

On Wall Street on Wednesday, the S&P 500 index shed 0.16% and the Dow Jones Industrial Average 0.58%, though the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite increased 0.47%. Traders attributed falls in S&P 500 and the Dow Jones to weak U.S. economic data. Figures from the US Labor Department’s weekly jobless claims suggested that an explosion in new COVID-19 infections and business restrictions were boosting layoffs and undermining the labor market recovery.