Asian stocks looked set for a muted start Monday and the dollar edged higher in early trading as traders digested President-elect Joe Biden’s pledge to detail plans for huge U.S. economic aid.
Australian shares and S&P 500 futures dipped, while the greenback advanced against major peers. The yen fluctuated after Japanese authorities discovered a coronavirus variant similar to strains in the U.K. and South Africa. Japan’s equity market is shut for a holiday and cash Treasuries won’t trade until the London open.
U.S. stocks notched another record Friday after Biden said he’ll lay out proposals this week for trillions of dollars in fiscal support to fight the economic toll of surging coronavirus cases. Oil added to last week’s jump and gold held Friday’s losses as traders weighed the outlook.
Equity gauges and Treasury yields have climbed on expectations of a global recovery driven by stimulus and eventual control of the pandemic with the help of vaccines. Investors are tolerating stretched stock valuations and some signs that global shares may be running too hot.
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The Democratic Party under Biden is set to control both houses of Congress once he takes charge, but winning assent for ambitious outlays — such as $2,000 stimulus checks — may yet be a challenge in a Senate that will be split 50-50 with Republicans. Meanwhile, President Donald Trump enters the final days of his presidency facing calls for impeachment after being blamed for inciting last week’s deadly riot at the U.S. Capitol.
One of the policy difficulties Biden will inherit at his inauguration next week is the escalating tension with Beijing. The Trump administration said Saturday the U.S. will remove self-imposed curbs on diplomatic interactions with Taiwan, a step likely to irk China, which claims the island as its territory.
On the virus front, Japan said it found the new strain of the coronavirus in passengers arriving from Brazil. The Asian nation said it’s difficult to immediately determine how infectious the strain is or the effectiveness of current vaccines against it.
Traders will be assessing earnings this week, including reports from JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Citigroup Inc. Elsewhere, Bitcoin retreated from the high of about $42,000 it reached on Friday.
Here are some key events coming up:
- JPMorgan, Citigroup and Wells Fargo & Co., as well as firms ranging from Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. to Infosys Ltd., are among those due to report earnings.
- EIA crude oil inventory report is due Wednesday.
- European Central Bank’s Christine Lagarde speaks at an online conference Wednesday.
- U.S. consumer-price inflation figures are due Wednesday.
- Biden plans to lay out proposals for fiscal support on Thursday.
- Fed Chair Jerome Powell takes part in a webinar on Thursday.
- U.S. initial jobless claims data are due Thursday.
- U.S. retail sales, industrial production, business inventories and consumer sentiment figures are due Friday.
These are some of the main moves in markets:
- S&P 500 futures lost 0.1% as of 8:30 a.m. in Tokyo. The S&P 500 index rose 0.6% on Friday.
- Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index slid 0.2%.
- Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index futures climbed 0.2% earlier.
- The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index advanced 0.1%.
- The yen was at 103.97 per dollar.
- The euro slipped 0.1% $1.2202.
- The pound lost 0.2% to $1.3540.
- The offshore yuan was steady at 6.4663 per dollar.
- The yield on 10-year Treasuries climbed four basis points to 1.12% on Friday.
- West Texas Intermediate crude rose 0.3% to $52.43 a barrel.
- Gold climbed 0.1% to $1,850.75 an ounce.