British stocks outperform amid growing optimism surrounding the vaccine
While U.S. markets were closed Monday for Presidents’ Day, Asian stock markets were higher today. Japan’s Nikkei 225 gained 1.28% ahead of the vaccine rollout that starts in Japan later this week. Meanwhile, the Bank of Japan Governor, Haruhiko Kuroda said that the central bank has no plan now to end ETF purchases or to permanently reduce purchases. South Korea’s Kospi gained 0.52%, while Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 added 0.70%. MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan climbed 0.62%. Shanghai and Hong Kong markets are still closed for the Lunar New Year.
European equities opened marginally higher on Tuesday, with the UK’s FTSE 100 continuing to outperform amid growing optimism surrounding the vaccine. Of note, vaccine minister Zahawi said that supply should ramp up further in March. The pan-European Stoxx 600 hovered just above the flatline in early trade. Later today, earnings from miners Glencore and BHP could draw investor attention. In the US, S&P 500 futures are up 0.5% following a pullback amid reports about US-China tensions earlier.
Meanwhile, the greenback remains on the defensive nearly across the board today. EURUSD registered February highs in recent trading, flirting with the 1.2150 intermediate resistance. A decisive break above this area would pave the way toward 1.2200. However, the common currency may erase these intraday gains if the upcoming economic data out of the Eurozone and Germany disappoint. On the downside, the 20-DMA remains in market focus.
In other markets, bitcoin prices regained the upward bias following a short-lived pause. The BTCUSD pair rose to the $50,000 psychological level for the first time ever as the cryptocurrency market rally continues. However, digital coin number one could face resistance at this level and witness a retreat before another bull run takes place.