Hopes for new U.S. stimulus at Biden inauguration cited as Asian stocks rise

BEIJING (AP) – Asian stocks rose on Tuesday as investors watched the details of the economic stimulus package promised by President-elect Joe Biden.

Shanghai, Tokyo and Hong Kong were higher. Seoul declined while Sydney swung between gains and losses.

Overnight, Wall Street declined after a string of record gains.

Investors were encouraged by US election results which showed Biden’s Democratic Party will control the Senate, reducing potential opposition to his plans. Biden has vowed to announce details this week of the plan he will come up with after taking office on Jan.20.

“Investors have found optimism about the prospect of further fiscal stimulus,” Cesar Perez Ruiz of Pictet Wealth Management said in a report. With the Senate in the hands of Democrats, “President-elect Biden has a better chance of moving his agenda forward and providing much-needed stimulus and support.”

No major event likely to move the market was on the calendar Tuesday in Asia.

The Shanghai SHCOMP Composite Index,
rose 0.8% to 3,559.86 and the Nikkei 225 in Tokyo NIK,
+ 0.09%

added 0.1% to 28,178.56. The Hang Seng in Hong Kong HSI,
gained 0.5% to 28,037.51.

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The Kospi in Seoul 180721,
+ 0.58%
loses 2.9% to 3056.42 while the S & P-ASX 200 in Sydney ASX10000,
was unchanged at noon at 6,697.40. New Zealand and Singapore retreated while Jakarta advanced.

Overnight, the Wall Street S&P 500 SPX benchmark,
+ 0.02%
fell 0.7% to 3,799.61, breaking a four-day streak of gains. The Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA,
fell 0.3% to 31,008.69. The Nasdaq Composite COMP,
+ 0.46%
slipped 1.3% to 13,036.43.

U.S. markets ignored the attack on Capitol Hill in Washington by Trump supporters who were trying to block final confirmation of Biden’s victory.

“I believe stocks were expecting better days, expecting a robust economic recovery once there is a wide distribution of vaccines,” said Kristina Hooper of Invesco in a report.

The market’s record run means stocks and other investments are even more expensive, leaving critics to say they have gone too high.

S&P 500 stocks are trading at around 29 times their earnings, well above their average of 18 times over the past decade.

The gains come despite the bad US economic news. Employers cut more jobs last month than they added for the first time since the pandemic began last spring.

The United States and other countries are also facing potentially more contagious types of coronavirus. This prompts governments to reimpose restrictions that disrupt travel and commerce.

Democrats are pushing for the impeachment of Trump, who has less than two weeks of his term left, after helping to incite loyalists who stormed Capitol Hill.

Twitter TWTR actions,
+ 1.36%
slipped 6.4% for one of the S&P 500’s biggest losses after banning Trump from his account and his 89 million followers.

Twitter cited “the risk of further incitement to violence,” but the move sparked a lot of anger from Tories who may abandon the service and demand more regulatory scrutiny of the company. Facebook fell 4% after suspending Trump’s accounts.

On the energy markets, gross US reference CL.1,

lost 9 cents to $ 52.16 a barrel in e-commerce on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract rose 1 cent on Monday to $ 52.25. Brent BRN00 crude,
used for the price of international oils, lost 10 cents to $ 55.56 a barrel in London. It fell 33 cents the previous session to $ 55.66 a barrel.

The dollar rose to 104.30 yen USDJPY,
from Monday 104.16. The euro EURUSD,
+ 0.33%
fell to $ 1.2141 from $ 1.2163.

About Rachelle Roosevelt

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