ASIAN STOCKS RISE TO RECORD HIGHS AS BIDEN TAKES OVER WHITE HOUSE
Asian stocks rose to new record highs on Thursday, January 21, 2021, tracking US markets as investors hoped for more economic stimulus from newly-inaugurated US President Joe Biden to offset damage wreaked by the COVID-19 pandemic.
But after record high closes on Wall Street overnight, markets in Asia reflected relief over an orderly transition of power and strong expectations that US stimulus will provide continued support for global assets.
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 magnitude,” Andrew Galbraith and Jessica DiNapoli reported for Reuters.
MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan touched record highs and was last up 0.85%, with markets across the region posting gains.
Chinese blue-chips added 1.2%, Australian shares climbed 0.69% and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng breached the 30,000 level, rising 0.31%. Japan’s Nikkei was up 0.72%, 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 rose 0.83%, the S&P 500 gained 1.39% and the Nasdaq Composite added 1.97%. On Thursday, e-mini futures for the S&P 500 ticked up to new records, and were last up 0.26%.
Tech shares stood out after Netflix Inc said it would no longer need to borrow billions of dollars to finance its TV shows and movies, prompting its shares to surge nearly 17%. As equity gauges rose, US stimulus hopes weighed on the greenback, pushing the dollar index down 0.1% to 90.319.
The dollar was flat against the yen at 103.52 and the euro gained 0.2% on the day to $1.2124. Benchmark U.S. 10-year Treasury notes yielded 1.0836%, down slightly from a US close of 1.09% on Wednesday.
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