Britain and the EU agreed on Sunday to keep negotiating over a Brexit trade deal
Wall Street stocks finished mostly lower on Friday, with indexes pulling further away from their recent highs as chances for another aid package from Washington faded amid the continued partisan bickering. However, on the positive side, President Donald Trump signed a temporary government-wide funding bill into law, averting a federal shutdown. As a result, the S&P 500 on Friday slipped 0.13%, the tech-heavy Nasdaq lost 0.23% while the Dow Jones Industrial Average bucked the trend and gained 0.16% as Disney stocks jumped nearly 14% and hit a new high after giving investors an encouraging update on subscriber growth.
Today in Asia, equities were mixed-to-positive as the quarterly “tankan” survey by the Bank of Japan showed business sentiment has improved sharply, with the main measure of business conditions of large manufacturers rising to -10 from -27. As such, Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 climbed 0.30%, the Shanghai Composite in China edged up 0.66%, while Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 gained 0.26%. Meanwhile, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index shed nearly 0.5% and South Korea’s Kospi lost 0.28%.
European stocks opened in the green, as US stimulus hopes and Brexit optimism lifted investor sentiment to start the week. As Britain and the EU agreed on Sunday to keep negotiating over a Brexit trade deal, the pan-European Stoxx 600 added 0.9% in early trade. On the negative side, Germany will go into a full lockdown over the Christmas period, citing a rise in coronavirus deaths and infections.
Elsewhere, the greenback is back on the defensive on Monday as positive risk sentiment dominates the markets. Renewed Brexit-related hopes lifted the pound from one-month lows seen around 1.3135 on Friday. Today, the pair has settled above 1.3400, having regained the 20-DMA. The pound could stage a more robust advance if the two sides resolve the remaining issues and strike a trade deal eventually.