US equities posted fresh all-time highs despite rising Omicron cases
Wall Street stocks posted fresh record highs on the first trading day of 2022 amid easing investor worries about the economic impact of the Omicron variant despite rising cases. Also, the market was boosted by a rally in Tesla shares. The company’s stocks jumped 13.5% after the electric car maker reported strong quarterly deliveries that exceeded expectations. Meanwhile, Apple became the first company to hit a $3 trillion market capitalization. Its shares rose 3% to notch all-time highs before finishing 2.5% higher on Monday. As such, the Dow Jones rose 0.68%, the S&P 500 gained 0.64%, and the Nasdaq Composite added 1.2%.
Asian equities were mostly higher on Tuesday following Wall Street’s record highs. MSCI’s gauge of Asia Pacific stocks outside Japan advanced 0.4%. Japan’s Nikkei 225 rose 1.77%, while South Korea’s Kospi was up less than 0.1%. In Australia, the ASX 200 jumped nearly 2%. In general, trading activity looks subdued as market players are looking ahead to the minutes of the U.S. Federal Reserve’s December monetary policy meeting due on Wednesday.
European stock markets opened higher today, with nearly all sectors in positive territory. The Euro STOXX 600 gained 0.6% in early deals. On the data front, Germany’s December unemployment change came in at -23,000 versus -15,000 expected while the unemployment rate declined from 5.3% to 5.2%. U.S. stock index futures were steady in early pre-market trading.
In currencies, the dollar jumped nearly across the board on Monday as US Treasury yields rose, pushing the USD index back above the 96.00 figure. As a result, the euro retreated from local highs to get back below the 1.1300 figure. On Tuesday, EURUSD has settled around this level, struggling to regain the upside momentum. In a wider picture, the greenback is expected to remain bolstered by the Fed’s intentions to hike the interest rates this year.