Global stocks rally as COVID-19 vaccines lift hope, dollar eases
By Herbert Lash NEW YORK (Reuters) - The dollar weakened and world stock markets rallied on Monday on encouraging signs of progress in developing a COVID-19 vaccine, while several multi-billion dollar deals also helped lift the spirit of investors after the downdraft in the past two weeks.
By Herbert Lash
NEW YORK (Reuters) - The dollar weakened and world stock markets rallied on Monday on encouraging signs of progress in developing a COVID-19 vaccine, while several multi-billion dollar deals also helped lift the spirit of investors after the downdraft in the past two weeks.
Gold jumped almost 1% as the dollar slid and bond yields were stable as investors gauge how the U.S. Federal Reserve will put its new approach to monetary policy into practice and keep its dovish stance at this week's policy meeting.
Enrollment of new patients and other trial procedures for AstraZeneca's pivotal U.S. trial were being rescheduled until at least midweek and it was not clear how long it would take for a U.S. investigators to complete a probe, sources told Reuters.
"The market reacts positively to any vaccine news," said Tim Ghriskey, chief investment strategist at Inverness Counsel in New York. "We're going to see a lot more vaccines come out, and that is what really is helping the markets."
The World Health Organization reported a record one-day increase in global coronavirus cases on Sunday, with the total rising by 307,930 in 24 hours. The biggest increases were from India, the United States and Brazil.
"There is still some caution in markets because U.S. virus numbers appear to be picking up again in some states," said Seema Shah, chief strategist at Principal Global Investors.
"The vaccine news is positive but there is a lot of skepticism about when they become widely adopted," Shah said.
Plans by Nvidia Corp
MSCI's benchmark for global equity markets <.MIWD00000PUS> rose 1.17% to 572.57. In Europe, the broad FTSEurofirst 300 index <.FTEU3> edged up 0.07% to 1,429 as losses in the energy sector offset surging travel and technology stocks that were boosted by the vaccine news.
On Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average <.DJI> rose 1.18%, the S&P 500 <.SPX> gained 1.27% and the Nasdaq Composite <.IXIC> added 1.87% after plunging 10% into corrective territory on Friday from a record closing high on Sept. 2.
U.S. stocks had notched two straight weeks of losses as investors sold the technology shares that fueled the benchmark S&P 500 and Nasdaq to record highs in a dramatic recovery from March lows spawned by the pandemic-induced downturn.
Overnight in Asia, MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan <.MIAPJ0000PUS> rose 0.9% to its highest in almost a week. Japan's Nikkei <.N225> firmed 0.7% after Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga won a landslide victory in a ruling party leadership election, paving the way for him to succeed Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
The Fed starts a two-day policy meeting on Tuesday, the first since unveiling a landmark shift to a more tolerant stance on inflation in August. The Bank of Japan and the Bank of England announce their respective policy decisions on Thursday.
Sterling, which has been hurt by renewed Brexit turmoil, firmed before a vote on British Prime Minister Boris Johnson's plan to break international law by breaching parts of the Brexit divorce treaty with the European Union.
Turkey's lira set a record low against the U.S. dollar
The 10-year U.S. Treasury
Oil prices slipped slightly on concerns about a stalled global economic recovery as Libya is poised to resume production, and failed to get support from an impending storm that has disrupted U.S. oil output.
Brent crude futures
U.S. gold futures
(Reporting by Herb Lash; additional reproting by Dhara Ranasinghe; Editing by Dan Grebler, Nick Zieminski and Will Dunham)
This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.
By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States
BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.