Market Overview

Asian stocks climb to record highs on Biden stimulus hopes

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 pandemic. 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 up 0.39%, German DAX futures 0.4% higher and FTSE futures up 0.6%.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan touched record highs and was last up 0.92%, with markets across the region posting gains. Chinese blue-chips added 1.75%, Australian shares climbed 0.79% and Seoul’s Kospi rose 1.54%. Japan’s Nikkei was up 0.82%, less than 1% off three-decade highs reached last week.

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 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 rose 5.36%.

As equity gauges rose, U.S. stimulus hopes weighed on the greenback, pushing the dollar index down 0.17% to 90.254. The dollar was off 0.14% against the yen at 103.37 and the euro gained 0.25% on the day to $1.2134. Benchmark U.S. 10-year Treasury notes yielded 1.0785%, down from a U.S. close of 1.09% on Wednesday.

Asian stocks climb to record highs on Biden stimulus hopes, Reuters, Jan 21

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