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Wall Street Eyes Fresh Records Pre-Bell; Futures Green, Europe Up, Asia Higher

01/08/2021 | 06:15am
(MT Newswires) -- Wall Street is leaning forward pre-bell Friday with broad-market futures up 0.3% from Thursday close, as market denizens anticipate a Biden Presidency and a Democratic-controlled Congress, with attendant prospects for larger fiscal deficits.

European bourses are pushing higher despite pandemic lockdowns, with Germany's DAX targeting new all-time zeniths, while Asian exchanges surged, with Hong Kong and Tokyo higher. Record closing highs were posted in Mumbai and in Seoul, where the KOSPI closed up 4.0%.

Bitcoin also trades near a new pinnacle at $34,947, West Texas Intermediate crude oil trades for $51.14 and 10-year US Treasuries offer 1.07%. Gold is softer, near $1,893 an ounce.

On the economic calendar is the weekly jobs report for December at 8:30 am ET, with pundits positing slow employment growth and a small increase in the unemployment rate. The wholesale inventories bulletin is out at 10 am. The Baker Hughes domestic oil-and-gas rig count posts at 1 pm, and then the Federal Reserve's consumer credit report follows at 3 pm.

For Fed-watchers, Vice Chair Richard Clarida speaks at 11 am.

In the futures, the S&P 500 is up 0.3%, the Nasdaq is up 0.4% and the Dow Jones is up 0.3%

In Europe, the British FTSE 100 flat, the French CAC is up 0.4%, and the German DAX is up 0.8%.

Asian stock markets opened higher on overnight Wall Street cues and after President Trump overnight pledged a smooth transition to the incoming Biden Administration.

The Nikkei 225 finished up 2.4% as traders weighed prospects for a global economic recovery in 2021, and the chances for greater fiscal stimulus from Washington. The yen drifted lower against the US dollar, regarded as a positive in export-oriented Japan.

An ongoing spike in COVID-19 infections in Japan was shrugged off. A state of emergency for Tokyo and three neighboring prefectures became effective Friday morning, with bars, restaurants and nightspots expected to close doors at 8 pm for the next 30 days.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 rose 648.90 to 28,139.03, the first close for the index above 28,000 since Aug. 15,1990. Gaining issue outnumbered losers 193 to 29.

The Nikkei 225 is up 2.5% year-to-date.

In economic news, Japan's economy is expected to grow 3.4% in the fiscal year ending March 2022, according to a consensus of 35 economists polled by the Japan Center for Economic Research. The pending increase will follow a 5.4% decline in gross domestic product in the current fiscal year ending March 31.

Also, Japan household spending in yen was flat in November year-over-year, but up a real 1.1% due to deflation, reported the official Statistic Bureau. However, spending had been depressed in November a year earlier due to consumer reaction to an Oct. 1 increase in the national sales tax to 10% from 8%. Consumers a year ago front-loaded some October and November outlays into September to sidestep the tax hike, said analysts.

The broad gauge Hong Kong Hang Seng Index finished up 1.2%.

The Hang Seng rose 329.70 to 27,878.22, as gaining issues outnumbered losers 37 to 14.

The Hang Seng TECH index rose 2.7%, despite telecom issues slipping on plans by New York Stock Exchange to delist the issues, to comply with US law.

Leading the upside were Geely Automobile (175:HK), up 19.6% on media reports that the automaker will join forces with China's tech-giant Baidu (BIDU) to make smart electric vehicles.

The Hang Seng is up 2.4% year-to-date.

On the mainland, the Shanghai Composite fell 0.2% to 3,570.11.

In economic news, a survey of 67 international institutions found that close to 80% of respondents predicted President Joe Biden will either partially or completely remove President Trump's import tariffs on China-made goods, reported the Harvard Business Review on Thursday.

On the other exchanges, the Taiwan TWSE inclined 1.6%; the Australian ASX 200 inclined 0.7%; the Singapore Straits Times Index rose 3.0%, and the Thai Set inclined 1.5%.

© MT Newswires 2021
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