Asian shares at record highs on global vaccine hopes
Asian shares advanced to record highs on Monday as successful coronavirus vaccine rollouts globally raise hopes of a rapid economic recovery amid new fiscal aid from Washington, while oil prices rose on heightened tensions in the Middle East.
MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan jumped 0.4 percent to 736.4.
Japan’s Nikkei climbed 1.1 percent, touching the 30,000 mark for the first time since 1990, despite data showing the country’s recovery from its worst post-war recession slowed in the fourth quarter.
Australia’s benchmark index added 0.9 percent while E-mini futures for the S&P 500 were up 0.3 percent in early Asian trading.
Oil prices climbed to the highest since January 2020 on hopes US stimulus packages will boost the economy and fuel demand and on fears that cold weather in Texas may disrupt flows from America’s largest shale patch. The Arctic blast gripping parts of the US is threatening to crimp supplies from one of the world’s top producers just as crude, commodities and equity markets are getting a boost from vaccine and stimulus-driven optimism.
Prices were also buoyant after a Saudi-led coalition fighting in Yemen said it intercepted an explosive-laden drone fired by the Iran-aligned Houthi group, raising fears of fresh Middle East tensions…..read more
Source: Al Jazeera