US stocks rose to records after data showing a further slowdown in the labour market stoked bets congressional leaders will clinch a deal on federal spending.
The S&P 500 climbed for a third day as lawmakers wrangled over the details of almost $US900 billion ($1.18 trillion) in coronavirus aid. The dollar slumped as weekly jobless claims rose to 885,000 versus an estimate of 818,000. Treasuries were steady. Bitcoin breached $US23,000 for the first time.
In early afternoon trade, the S&P 500 has gained 0.5 per cent, the Dow Jones is 0.4 per cent higher and the tech-heavy Nasdaq has added 0.6 per cent. At 5.17am AEDT, futures are pointing to a gain of 1 point at the open for the ASX.
In Europe, cyclical shares such as miners and retailers rose on news that the rollout of a COVID vaccine would begin this month. The pound climbed and the euro rose to the highest since April 2018 as officials cautiously predicted a Brexit deal within days.
With the clock ticking to renew pandemic aid, leaders in Washington are under pressure to resolve their differences after months of deadlock amid signs of a faltering economic recovery. Their peers in Europe cleared the bloc’s €1.8 trillion ($2.9 trillion) stimulus package on Wednesday.
“Investors know that the environment for businesses and for earnings is going to be good in the medium and long-term,” said Chris Gaffney, president of world markets at TIAA Bank. “The global economy and the US in particular is going to go through a tough patch here in the next few months. However, the central banks and the future looks good.”
Emmanuel Macron’s office said he’d tested positive for the coronavirus. The French president, 42, will self-isolate during seven days, while continuing to work, his office said. The number of virus deaths reached another daily record in the US, while the first known allergic reaction to the Pfizer vaccine was reported in Alaska as some snarls began to emerge in the effort to send the shots across the country.
Elsewhere, oil held gains in the wake of a surprise decline in US crude inventories. Stocks across Asia saw modest advances.
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Source: Thanks smh.com