GLOBAL MARKETS-Asian markets look to rise on vaccine, stimulus hopes

  • Reuters
  • Stock Market News
GLOBAL MARKETS-Asian markets look to rise on vaccine, stimulus hopes
Credit: © Reuters.

By Pete Schroeder

Dec 9 (Reuters) - Asian markets were set to rise Wednesday as investors tracked positive news on COVID-19 vaccines and ongoing efforts to launch more fiscal stimulus.

Australian S&P/ASX 200 futures YAPcm1 were up 0.57% in early trading, while Japan's Nikkei 225 .N225 were down 0.02%.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng index futures .HSI .HSIc1 were up 0.42%.

On Wall Street, stocks notched new record levels Tuesday at the S&P and Nasdaq , boosted by gains in the healthcare sector on the back of positive vaccine news and seeming progress on U.S. stimulus talks, as the U.S. dollar dipped.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI rose 0.35%, the S&P 500 .SPX gained 0.28% and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC added 0.5%. gauge of stocks across the globe .MIWD00000PUS gained 0.21%. The dollar index =USD was up 0.08%.

"USD consolidated amid a lift in U.S. equities to record highs and positive signs that an agreement on an one-week stopgap funding bill that would push off a partial government shutdown," wrote Joseph Capurso, a strategist with Commonwealth Bank of Australia.

"There appears to be some bipartisan support for a fiscal package of US$908 bln (4% of GDP)."

U.S. policymakers continued to negotiate over additional stimulus to help offset the economic impact of the pandemic while pursuing a stopgap government funding bill. Leaders in both parties remain adamant a deal must be struck but are still working through sticking points, including aid to state and local governments and business liability protections. steady march of positive news on COVID-19 vaccines helped lift investor spirits.

Britain on Tuesday became the first Western nation to begin a wide vaccination campaign, and Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ ) JNJ.N reported it could obtain late-stage trial results for a single-dose vaccine in January, earlier than expected. Meanwhile, Pfizer Inc (NYSE: PFE ) PFE.N cleared another hurdle when the U.S. health regulator released documents flagging no new safety or efficacy concerns. the looming prospect of a "no deal" Brexit weighed on investors, as British and European Union negotiators are still trying to break a deadlock in trade deal talks within three weeks. the foreign exchange market, sterling GBP= was trading down 0.2%.

The benchmark 10-year US10YT=RR yield was down 1.3 basis points in afternoon trading at 0.9146%. prices .LCOc1 .CLc1 were near unchanged, with Brent crude LCOc1 futures settling at $48.84 a barrel, up 5 cents. U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude CLc1 futures settled 16 cents lower at $45.60. Spot gold prices XAU= were higher. Global assets

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