Global stocks advance after Trump signs $900B aid package

Business

Currency traders watch computer monitors near the screen showing the Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) at the foreign exchange dealing room in Seoul, South Korea, Monday, Dec. 28, 2020. Asian stock markets rose Monday after President Donald Trump signed a $900 billion economic aid package, helping to reduce uncertainty as governments re-impose travel and business curbs in response to a new coronavirus variant. (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)

BEIJING (AP) — Global stock markets and U.S. futures rose Monday after President Donald Trump signed a $900 billion economic aid package, helping to reduce uncertainty as governments re-impose travel and business curbs in response to a new coronavirus variant.

London and Frankfurt opened higher as traders returned to work following a three-day Christmas weekend. Shanghai and Tokyo also advanced.

Trump signed the measure, which also includes money for other government functions through September, despite expressing frustration that $600 payments to the public weren’t bigger. His signature following last-minute objections helped to clear away uncertainty as reinstated travel and business curbs threaten to weigh on global economic activity.

“The stimulus balloon will allow the markets to navigate better the number of new air pockets showing up on the radar due to the virus’s latest variant,” said Stephen Innes of Axi in a report.

In early trading, the FTSE 100 in London rose 0.1% to 6,502.11 and the DAX in Frankfurt advanced 1.2% to 13,756.71. The CAC 40 in France gained 0.5% to 5,548.55.

On Wall Street, the future for the benchmark S&P 500 index was 0.6% higher and that for the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 0.4%.

On Thursday, the S&P 500 index rose 0.4% in its last pre-Christmas trading day. The Dow added 0.2%. The Nasdaq composite gained 0.3%.

In Asia, the Shanghai Composite Index rose less than 0.1% to 3,397.29 while the Nikkei 225 in Tokyo added 0.7% to 26,854.03.

The Hang Seng in Hong Kong declined 0.3% to 26,314.63 after e-commerce giant Alibaba Group announced it was expanding a share buyback from $6 billion to $10 billion.

Alibaba shares declined 7% following last week’s announcement of an anti-monopoly investigation and the suspension of the stock market debut of Ant Group, an online finance platform in which Alibaba owns a 33% stake.

In Seoul, the Kospi rose less than 0.1% to 2,808.60 while India’s Sensex added 0.8% to 47,336.65.

Singapore and Jakarta advanced. Australian markets were closed.

Investors have been encouraged by the development of coronavirus vaccines but that optimism has been dented by the discovery of the more contagious variant.

On Monday, South Korea reported its first cases of the new variant in three people who arrived from Britain. Over the weekend, Japan also reported cases and re-imposed limits on entry into the country by non-resident foreigners. It also said both Japanese and foreign residents would be required to show coronavirus test results on arrival and to observe quarantines.

In energy markets, benchmark U.S. crude rose 21 cents to $48.44 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. On Thursday, the contract rose 11 cents to close at $48.23. Brent crude, the basis for pricing international oils, advanced 18 cents to $51.52 per barrel in London. It rose 9 cents the previous session to $51.29 a barrel.

The dollar declined to 103.43 yen from Friday’s 103.68 yen. The euro rose to $1.2216 from $1.2180.

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