Asian shares push higher on improving coronavirus outlook


Asian markets moved higher during early trading as governments around the world looked poised to boost spending to help economies recover from the coronavirus and vaccine roll-out programs accelerated.

E-mini futures for the S&P 500 rose 0.34%.

Japan’s Nikkei rose 0.3% in early trade and Australian S&P/ASX 200 index added 0.8%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng futures lost 0.20%.

Wall Street rallied on Tuesday on renewed hopes for U.S. President Joe Biden’ proposed $ 1.9 trillion COVID-19 aid bill as the Senate voted to start a process that would allow Democrats to pass Biden’s package without Republican support.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 475.57 points, or 1.57%, to 30,687.48, the S&P 500 gained 52.45 points, or 1.39%, to 3,826.31 and the Nasdaq Composite added 209.38 points, or 1.56%, to 13,612.78.

MSCI’s gauge of stocks across the globe gained 0.07%.

The increased likelihood of Biden’s plan being passed also sent treasury yields higher on supply concerns.

The benchmark 10-year yield was last up 2.8 basis points at 1.1048%.

Progress is also starting to pick up on the roll-out of vaccines in many countries.

“All the ingredients for a rapid recovery from Q2 onwards are getting sweetly baked into the reopening party cake,” said Stephen Innes, Chief Global Markets Strategist at AxiCorp Financial Services.

Russian authorities said they will be able to vaccinate about 700 million people this year with the Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine. Nations including India and Mexico are in talks to ink emergency deals to start administering the vaccine.

In the United States, the Biden administration said it will increase the weekly supply of shots nationwide and start shipping coronavirus vaccines directly to retail pharmacies in addition to ongoing deliveries to states.

The bullish sentiment, which was also bolstered by higher-than-expected earnings by tech giants Alphabet Inc and Inc, overshadowed the retail trading frenzy that has preoccupied markets for the past week.

The party for the Reddit-inspired trading frenzy that pushed GameStop’s stock up five-fold in five days last week appeared over as its shares plunged 60% in heavy trade to close at $ 90.00, less than one-fifth of an all-time peak on Friday.

“Wallstreetbets is hitting the point of diminishing value,” Innes said. “Retail traders will still be a force to be reckoned with, but we are perhaps past the peak YOLO world with the cat out of the bag.”

Silver slid more than 8% on Tuesday, undoing the retail trader-driven rally to a near eight-year peak in the previous session as small investors retreated.

Spot gold fell 1.4% to $ 1,835.11 per ounce. U.S. gold futures settled down 1.6% at $ 1,833.40.

Oil prices continued their upswing as producers limited supply in the face of increased fuel demand from a bad winter storm in the Northeast US.

Brent crude and U.S. oil each settled about 2% higher.

The dollar index rose 0.096%, with the euro unchanged at $ 1.2042.