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GLOBAL MARKETS-Stocks rise as investors cheer Biden transition, vaccine progress

Stock Markets Nov 24, 2020 15:00
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* AstraZeneca vaccine news drives risk-on approach
* Vaccine could be released by mid-December
* Trump, government officials nod to formal Biden transition
* For a Reuters live blog on U.S., UK and European stock
click LIVE/ or type LIVE/ in a news window.

By Katanga Johnson and Julie Zhu
WASHINGTON/HONG KONG, Nov 24 (Reuters) - Stocks gained on
Tuesday as the formal go-ahead for U.S. President-elect Joe
Biden to begin his transition added to an already brighter mood
from progress made on COVID-19 vaccines and the prospects for a
speedy global economic revival.
European markets appeared set to extend optimism in Asian
and U.S. equities, with Euro Stoxx 50 futures STXEc1 and FTSE
futures FFIc1 up 0.52% and 0.42%, respectively.
U.S. General Services Administration chief Emily Murphy
wrote in a letter to Biden on Monday that he can formally begin
the hand-over process.
President Donald Trump tweeted that he had told his team "do
what needs to be done with regard to initial protocols", an
indication he was moving toward a transition after weeks of
legal challenges to the election results. U.S. stocks also got an added boost after reports that Biden
plans to nominate former Federal Reserve Chair, Janet Yellen, to
become the next Treasury Secretary. Futures for the S&P 500
EScv1 rose 0.73% in afternoon Asian trade. The upbeat backdrop helped MSCI's broadest index of
Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan .MIAPJ0000PUS advance 0.19%
in the afternoon trade. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 .AXJO was 1.26
percent stronger, touching its highest level in almost nine
months, with energy stocks leading the pack. Japan's Nikkei .N225 jumped 2.47%, after reaching
26,186.53 by 0204 GMT, its highest since May 1991, with energy,
real estate and financial shares leading the advance. Seoul's
Kospi .KS11 was 0.54% higher while Hong Kong's Hang Seng
.HIS was steady, up 0.03%. Chinese blue-chips .CSI300 were an outlier, edging down
0.85%, as investors booked profits following recent strong
Some analysts say a Biden presidency, which could mean more
negotiation room for Washington and Beijing, would not make a
big difference for China's equities market, as they expected
little change in broad U.S. policy toward China. The progress made on COVID-19 vaccines, which had
underpinned Wall Street overnight, helped keep risk appetite
elevated as it boosted optimism about a quicker revival for the
global economy.
AstraZeneca AZN.L said its COVID-19 vaccine, cheaper to
make, easier to distribute and faster to scale-up than its
rivals, could be as much as 90%
effective. "Traders are still buying into vaccine news clearance, as
the end of the pandemic becomes imaginable. Recent U.S. data
restored a bit of confidence that the economy is holding up,
despite surging COVID-19 infections and a painful lack of fresh
fiscal stimulus," said Kyle Rodda, a market analyst for IG
"And the news of Yellen's possible nomination to the role of
U.S. Treasury Secretary potentially puts a very Fed-friendly
uber-dove at the reins of fiscal policy."
The dollar index =USD , which tracks the greenback against
a basket of six major rivals, nudged down to 92.406 while the
euro EUR= gained 0.11% on the day to $1.1853.
On Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI rose
1.12% overnight, the S&P 500 .SPX gained 0.56% while the
Nasdaq Composite .IXIC added only 0.22%, underperforming as
traders rotated away from big tech names.
Oil prices added to last week's gains as traders anticipated
the vaccine news would spur a recovery in energy demand.
"Investors are ignoring near-term headwinds, chief among
which are surging global COVID infections, and instead looking
ahead to next summer," said PVM analyst Stephen Brennock.
The United States surpassed 255,000 deaths and 12 million
infections since the pandemic began, with daily infections at a
record near 170,000 and daily deaths around 1,500.
U.S. crude CLc1 advanced 1.28% to $43.61 per barrel and
Brent LCOc1 was at $46.58, up 1.13% on Tuesday, while an index
of commodity prices .TRCCRB touched its highest since early
The yield on the benchmark 10-year notes US10YT=RR rose
slightly to 0.8619%.
Spot gold XAU= fell to $1,826.86 an ounce while U.S. gold
futures GCc1 dropped 0.46% to $1,829.30 an ounce.

Global assets
Global currencies vs. dollar
Emerging markets
MSCI All Country Wolrd Index Market Cap

GLOBAL MARKETS-Stocks rise as investors cheer Biden transition, vaccine progress

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