The Japanese economy grew by nearly 13% in the fourth quarter
Wall Street stocks finished higher on Friday to set another round of record closes while ending with modest weekly gains. The Dow Jones Industrial Average added just 0.1% while the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite both rose 0.5%. On the positive side, President Joe Biden said the U.S. will have enough vaccine supply for 300 million Americans by end of July.
Today in Asia, shares rallied amid the prevailing risk-on tone. Nikkei 225 in Tokyo gained nearly 2% to exceed the 30,000 handle for the first time in over thirty years after the data showed that the Japanese economy grew at a nearly 13% annual pace in the fourth quarter, extending the recovery from the pandemic. Shares in South Korea gained 1.50% while Australia’s benchmark rose 0.91%. Markets in China and Hong Kong were still closed for the Lunar New Year.
European markets started the session on an upbeat note as well, with the pan-European Stoxx 600 climbing 0.6% in early trade as the ongoing vaccine rollouts fuel hopes of a global economic recovery. Later today, the Eurozone finance ministers will meet virtually to discuss the economic recovery in the region.
Meanwhile, the greenback is mostly under pressure on Monday as positive risk sentiment prevails in the markets. Of note, the pound jumped to fresh April-2018 highs above the 1.3900 handle earlier today despite the overbought conditions. The rally continues due to dollar weakness, Britain’s vaccination campaign, and UK reopening expectations. According to the latest reports, UK health secretary, Matt Hancock, the country bodes well for a possible economic reopening in a more meaningful way ahead of the summer.
Elsewhere, bitcoin prices correct lower after peaking at fresh all-time highs around $49,700 on Sunday. The BCTUSD pair was last seen trading in the $47,450, off intraday lows seen below $46,000 earlier in the day. It looks like the digital coin will stage another rally to exceed the $50,000 handle after the current retreat.