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Equities, oil rally in anticipation of more US stimulus spending

Reuters
Equities, oil rally in anticipation of more US stimulus spending

PREPARATIONS. Workers place Biden-Harris inauguration banners on the inaugural parade viewing stand across from the White House in Washington, January 14, 2021.

Photo by Erin Scott/Reuters

Stocks rise on Tuesday, January 19, as the United States looks set for additional fiscal stimulus with the incoming Biden administration

Global equity benchmarks jumped and safe-haven currencies such as the United States dollar dipped on Tuesday, January 19, as Janet Yellen used a confirmation hearing on her appointment as Treasury secretary to bolster the case for additional fiscal stimulus.

The move would aim to mend the economic damage inflicted by the coronavirus pandemic on the world’s largest economy.

Risk assets such as oil and emerging market stocks also rallied.

Yellen told the Senate Finance Committee that the government must “act big” with its next coronavirus relief package.

“A strong [stimulus] package would psychologically lift the mood of the investor and a good many consumers are going to go out and spend,” said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at Spartan Capital Securities in New York.

MSCI’s gauge of stocks across the globe gained 0.83% following broad gains in Asia and slight losses in Europe.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan rose 1.5% to a record high.

Data on Monday, January 18, confirmed that China, the world’s second largest economy, was one of the few to grow during 2020 and actually gathered pace as the year drew to a close.

On Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 116.26 points, or 0.38%, to 30,930.52, the S&P 500 gained 30.66 points, or 0.81%, to 3,798.91, and the Nasdaq Composite added 198.68 points, or 1.53%, to 13,197.18.

Despite the risk-on mood on Tuesday, some dealers were wary before President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration on Wednesday, January 20, fearing more far-right mob violence.

Wall Street is also bracing for tougher regulations now that the Democrats control the Senate, with Biden set to nominate two consumer champions to top financial agencies.

In foreign exchange markets, the US dollar slipped from close to its highest in nearly a month as caution set in before Yellen’s testimony, where she reaffirmed a commitment to a market-determined exchange rate.

The dollar index fell 0.3%, with the euro up 0.41% to $1.2126 after touching a 6-week low of $1.2052 in the previous session.

Benchmark 10-year Treasury notes last rose 3/32 in price to yield 1.0886%, from 1.097% late on Friday, January 15.

Spot gold added 0.1% to $1,838.70 an ounce.

Optimism that government stimulus will buoy global economic growth and oil demand lifted crude oil prices. US crude rose 1.24% to $53.01 per barrel and Brent was at $55.84, up 1.99% on the day. – Rappler.com

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