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GLOBAL MARKETS-Stocks mixed with stimulus hopes offset by COVID concerns

Stock MarketsJan 25, 2021 16:36
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© Reuters.

* Graphic: Global asset performance http://tmsnrt.rs/2yaDPgn
* Graphic: World FX rates http://tmsnrt.rs/2egbfVh

By Matt Scuffham and Ritvik Carvalho
NEW YORK/LONDON, Jan 25 (Reuters) - Global stock markets
lacked direction on Monday, with optimism over a $1.9 trillion
U.S. stimulus plan offset by increasing COVID-19 cases and
delays in vaccine supplies.
Equity markets have scaled record highs in recent days on
bets vaccines will start to reduce infection rates worldwide and
on a stronger U.S. economic recovery under President Joe Biden.
However, investors are wary about towering valuations amid
questions over the efficacy of the vaccines in curbing the
pandemic and as U.S. lawmakers continue to debate a coronavirus
aid package. "The risk for these markets is that, after a bumper couple
of months, investors may start to wonder whether they're looking
a little frothy," said Craig Erlam, senior market analyst at
OANDA Europe
U.S. stocks were mixed in early trading.
By 10:33 a.m. ET (1533 GMT), the Dow Jones Industrial
Average .DJI fell 76.41 points, or 0.25%, to 30,920.57, the
S&P 500 .SPX gained 15.93 points, or 0.41%, to 3,857.4 and the
Nasdaq Composite .IXIC added 165.34 points, or 1.22%, to
13,708.40.
The MSCI world equity index .MIWD00000PUS , which tracks
shares in 49 nations, rose 2.24 points, or 0.34 percent, to
668.93.
MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan
.MIAPJ0000PUS rose 11.48 points, or 1.6 percent, to 729.94.
European stock markets opened higher but then fell, with the
pan-European STOXX 600 .STOXX down 0.8%. A measure of the
continent's 50 biggest stocks fell 0.6% .STOXX50 . .EU
U.S. investors are awaiting a busy earnings week, with tech
giants Apple Inc AAPL.O , Facebook Inc FB.O , Tesla Inc
TSLA.O and Microsoft Corp MSFT.O all due to report results.
A rally in U.S. tech stocks to near-record highs on Friday
helped fuel gains in their counterparts in Asia and Europe. A
European basket of tech stocks gained 0.5% .SX8P . In Asia,
Chinese tech giant Tencent soared 11% 0700.HK .
All eyes are on Washington, D.C., as U.S. lawmakers agreed
that getting COVID-19 vaccines to Americans should be a priority
even as they locked horns over the size of the pandemic relief
package. Financial markets have been eyeing a massive package, though
disagreements have meant months of indecision in a country
suffering more than 175,000 COVID-19 cases a day with millions
out of work.
Global COVID-19 cases are inching toward 100 million, with
more than 2 million dead. Despite the recent outperformance in tech stocks, investors
have reiterated views that cyclical and value stocks will
outperform as economies recover.
"While renewed lockdowns and mobility restrictions around
the world have supported 2020 stay-home beneficiaries, we do not
think the rotation into cyclicals is over," said Mark Haefele,
chief investment officer at UBS Global Wealth Management.
He said a broadening economic recovery, a normalization of
economic activity as vaccination programs continue, and
attractive valuations for emerging-market stocks relative to
developed markets were reasons for UBS shifting its preference
to emerging markets.
Sentiment in Asia was boosted by a report that China had
surpassed the United States as the largest recipient of foreign
direct investment in 2020, with $163 billion in inflows.
MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan
.MIAPJ0000PUS rose 1.6%.
Japan's Nikkei .N225 rebounded from falls in early trading
to be up 0.7%.
Australian shares .AXJO added 0.4% after the country's
drug regulator approved the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine
with a phased rollout likely late next month. Chinese shares rose, with the blue-chip CSI300 index
.CSI300 up 1%. Hong Kong's Hang Seng index .HIS leapt 2.4%
led by technology stocks.
The dollar index .DXY , which tracks the greenback versus a
basket of six currencies, rose 0.223 point or 0.25 percent, to
90.461. Major currency trading pairs were trapped in a tight
range as markets awaited the Federal Reserve's Wednesday
meeting.
The euro EUR= was down 0.41 percent, at $1.2120.
In commodities, Brent LCOc1 was last down $0.05, or 0.09
percent, at $55.36 a barrel. U.S. crude CLc1 was down $0.04,
or down 0.08 percent, at $52.23 per barrel.
Spot gold prices XAU= rose $4.21 or 0.23 percent, to
$1,856.76 an ounce.

<^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
Global assets http://tmsnrt.rs/2jvdmXl
Emerging markets http://tmsnrt.rs/2ihRugV
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^>

GLOBAL MARKETS-Stocks mixed with stimulus hopes offset by COVID concerns
 

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