Global stocks mixed on optimism over recovery, stimulus

BEIJING (AP) – Global stock markets were mixed yesterday after another record-setting rally on Wall Street.

London and Frankfurt opened lower, while Shanghai, Tokyo and Hong Kong advanced.

United Staets (US) futures were lower a day after Wall Street’s benchmark S&P 500 index closed up 0.7 per cent. Investors were encouraged by company earnings, news that a surge in coronavirus cases is easing, progress in distributing vaccines and the possibility of US government stimulus.

Despite concern prices might be rising too fast, “the momentum behind this reflation trade remains a force to reckon with,” said Jingyi Pan of IG in a report.

In early trading, London’s FTSE 100 declined less than 0.1 per cent to 6,518.19 and Frankfurt’s DAX lost 0.2 per cent to 14,032.42. The CAC 40 in Paris was unchanged at 5,686.76.

On Wall Street, the future for the S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average were off less than 0.1 per cent.

A currency trader at the foreign exchange dealing room in Seoul, South Korea. PHOTO: AP

On Monday, the S&P 500, the Dow and the Nasdaq composite all set records.

In Washington, President Joe Biden and Congressional Democrats appear to be moving forward with a USD1.9 trillion coronavirus stimulus plan. That includes a rise in the federally required minimum wage and cash aid to households.

“Market participants doubled down on fiscal stimulus bets” after US Federal Reserve officials downplayed concerns the spending might fuel inflation, said Mizuho Bank in
a report.

In Asia, the Shanghai Composite index rose two per cent to 3,603.49 and the Nikkei 225 in Tokyo added 0.4 per cent to 29,505.93. The Hang Seng in Hong Kong advanced 0.5 per cent to 29,476.19.

The Kospi in Seoul shed 0.2 per cent to 3,084.67 and Sydney’s S&P-ASX 200 lost 0.9 per cent to 6,821.20.

India’s Sensex advanced 0.8 per cent to 51,777.21. New Zealand and Singapore retreated while Bangkok and Jakarta advanced.

On Wall Street, Tesla rose 1.3 per cent on Monday after the company said it purchased USD1.5 billion in Bitcoin and pIans to allow customers to pay for their electric vehicles with the digital currency. Bitcoin was up 13.2 per cent to USD43,252, according to digital currency brokerage Coinbase.

In energy markets, benchmark US crude rose 35 cents to USD58.30 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract rose USD1.12 on Monday to USD57.97. Brent crude, used to price international oils, gained 40 cents to USD60.96 per barrel in London. It advanced USD1.22 the previous session to USD60.56.

The dollar fell to JPY104.88 from Monday’s JPY105.22. The euro rose to USD1.2080 from USD1.2055.