BANGKOK (AP) — World shares started the week off with a rally, as Japan’s Nikkei 225 index closed above 30,000 for the first time since August 1990.
European markets opened higher Monday, following an advance in Asia. Shanghai and Hong Kong were closed for the Lunar New Year. U.S. markets will be closed Monday for Washington’s Birthday.
Optimism that Washington will come through on trillions of dollars of more aid for the economy and encouraging company earnings reports have helped stocks grind higher this month, along with hopes that the coronavirus vaccine rollout will set the stage for stronger economic growth in the second half of this year.
Democrats have decided to use a legislative process that does not require Republican support to pass the $1.9 trillion package proposed by President Joe Biden.
“Markets remain target fixated on the Biden stimulus and vaccine rollouts as the magic panacea for the world’s pandemic ills,” Jeffrey Halley of Oanda said in a commentary. That has translated into higher stock prices, with the world awash with stimulus funds seeking returns in a world where interest rates are around zero percent, he said.
Germany’s DAX gained 0.3% to 14,089 and the CAC40 in Paris rose 1.3% to 5,779. Britain’s FTSE 100 surged 1.8% to 6,706. U.S. futures also rose, with the contract for the S&P 500 up 0.4%. The future for the Dow industrials rose 0.5%.