Asian shares extend gains as investors count on stimulus, vaccines
Asian shares advanced on Tuesday as prospects of a deal by European Union leaders to jointly fund recovery of their economies and hopes for a coronavirus vaccine lifted risk appetite.
On Wall Street, tech shares jumped after several days in the doldrums, pushing the Nasdaq Composite up 2.51 percent to a record closing high on Monday. The S&P500 also hit a five-month peak. Euro Stoxx 50 futures gained 0.25 percent in Asian trade to stand near their highest since early March.
Japan’s Nikkei rose 0.6 percent while MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan gained 1.5 percent.
European Union leaders appeared close to agreement on a massive stimulus plan for their coronavirus-blighted economies, with EU Council President Charles Michel voicing confidence of reaching a deal on the 750 billion euro recovery fund.
In the currency market, the Chinese yuan inched up to hit its firmest since early March, helped by recent signs of recovery in the Chinese economy. The onshore yuan rose to as high as 6.9804 per dollar.
The euro stood near Monday’s four-month high of USD 1.14675 as traders looked to the final outcome of the marathon EU summit that started on Friday. It last traded at USD 1.1459.
The yen was little moved at 107.19 to the dollar. Gold held firm at USD 1,818 per ounce, having hit a nine-year high of USD 1,820.4 on Monday.