The new administration said it aimed to reach a bipartisan agreement on the relief plan worth $1.9 trillion
All three major benchmark U.S. stock indexes closed at record highs on Wednesday after Joe Biden was sworn in as the 46th President of the United States. The new administration said it aimed to reach a bipartisan agreement on the relief plan worth $1.9 trillion.
Encouraging corporate earnings reports also helped stoke optimism about the path to economic recovery, with a stronger than expected earnings report from Netflix sending its shares soaring nearly 20%. Morgan Stanley reported fourth-quarter earnings that beat analysts’ expectations, while Alphabet stocks surged to record all-time-highs. As a result, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.83%, the S&P 500 index climbed 1.4%, and the Nasdaq Composite finished up 2%.
Today in Asia, shares rose optimism over the new U.S. administration, with hopes being high that President Joe Biden’s administration will mean more support for the struggling U.S. economy. Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 rose 0.82%, Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 gained 0.79%, while South Korea’s Kospi edged up 1.31%. The Shanghai Composite added 1.02%.
Elsewhere, the Bank of Japan kept monetary policy steady on Thursday and upgraded its economic forecast for the next fiscal year. At the same time, the central bank warned of escalating risks to the outlook as new coronavirus emergency measures threatened to derail the recovery.
In currencies, the dollar was mostly lower amid positive risk sentiment that curbed demand for the safe-haven greenback. As such, GBPUSD continued to cling to the 1.3700 handle while surging to fresh May 2018 highs on Wednesday. Besides, the pair continues to hold above the key 20-DMA that has been acting as support since December.
Meanwhile, oil prices held steady after the American Petroleum Institute reported a build in crude oil inventories of 2.56 million barrels for the week ending January 15 versus -1.16 million barrels expected. On the positive side, the market remains supported by hopes for further U.S. fiscal stimulus. However, the IEA’s grim outlook on oil demand and a slow global rollout of the coronavirus vaccine curb upbeat tone in the market. Following bullish attempts earlier in the day, Brent crude has retreated back below the $56 figure that remains in market focus.