CORRECTED-GLOBAL MARKETS-Asian futures flat after Wall Street closes at record highs

  • Reuters
  • Stock Market News
CORRECTED-GLOBAL MARKETS-Asian futures flat after Wall Street closes at record highs
Credit: © Reuters.

(Corrects third paragraph to say index "rose" instead of "fell")

By Imani Moise

Feb 4 (Reuters) - - Asian futures were little changed in early trading after progress in vaccine distribution and a large U.S. stimulus program sent two major Wall Street indexes to record closing highs.

E-mini futures for the S&P 500 EScv1 and Hong Kong's Hang Seng index futures HSIc1 were essentially flat while {{178|Japan's Ni Nikkei 225 futures NKc1 inched 0.1% higher.

The Australian S&P/ASX 200 index .AXJO rose 0.9% in early trade.

Wall Street rallied for a fourth consecutive day on Thursday as Democrats pushed ahead with U.S. President Joe Biden's proposed $1.9 trillion stimulus plan without bipartisan support. Some investors expected the Department of Labor to release better-than-expected jobs data later on Friday.

"The U.S. is looking good on a relative basis, with rising inflation expectations, steeper yield curves, the U.S. vaccination rate is rising, and savings rates are declining," said Chris Weston, head research analyst at Pepperstone group.

Each of the major Wall Street indexes rose more than 1% on Thursday. The Nasdaq Composite Index .IXIC and S&P 500 .SPX set record highs.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI rose 332.26 points, or 1.08%, to 31,055.86, the S&P 500 .SPX gained 41.57 points, or 1.09%, at 3,871.74 and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC added 167.20 points, or 1.23%, at 13,777.74.

MSCI's gauge of stocks across the globe .MIWD00000PUS gained 0.01%.

Bullish sentiment around stimulus and the broader U.S. economic recovery also pushed longer-term Treasury yields higher and strengthened the dollar.

The benchmark 10-year yield US10YT=RR rose about 1 basis point to 1.1409% as investors positioned for a large pandemic relief package. The 20-year US20YT=RR U.S. Treasury yield rose 2 basis points to 1.7396%.

The U.S. dollar index =USD rose 0.5% as the euro weakened.

Strength in the dollar limited gains in oil markets which continued their upswing as promised supply cuts mean inventories were likely to stay low.

U.S. crude CLc1 recently rose 0.52% to $56.52 per barrel and Brent LCOc1 was at $59.11, up 1.11% on the day.

Spot gold XAU= added 0.2%, at $1,795.30 an ounce, and U.S. gold futures GCc1 % to $1,788.90 an ounce.

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