Trump signs stimulus/spending bill into law
With liquidity lower than usual and a dearth of meaningful news over the weekend, the presidential signing of the omnibus bill today has lifted sentiment in Asia. Most of the region is green, although the gains scale is modest, perhaps reflecting the holiday-thinned participation. As far as President Trump is concerned, there is still more work to be done on the stimulus bill. Both the Financial Times and Bloomberg are saying that the president has claimed that the GOP Senators and the Democrat-controlled House will vote on increasing the USD600 payment. Additionally, Section 230 (the social media content liability shield) would be repealed, and an investigation in voter fraud commenced. However, legally speaking, the bill is a done deal.
Asian markets are mostly in positive territory on Monday. The Nikkei 225 has risen 0.40%, with the Kospi rushing 0.70% higher out of the gates this morning. Singapore is 0.20% higher, Taipei has rallied 0.75% higher, with Kuala Lumpur jumping 0.80% and Jakarta up 0.15%. Only Manila is lagging regionally, down 1.30% in early trading.
China has shrugged off news that Ant Financial has been told to go back to basics by the PBOC this weekend. The threatened breakup coming after its parent Alibaba’s shares tanked in the US on Thursday after Chinese authorities announced investigations into its business practises. Not being listed on the mainland may have been a blessing in disguise for the Shanghai Composite and CSI 300, which are higher by 0.30% and 0.50% respectively. Hong Kong has weathered the storm as well, despite Alibaba being listed there. The Hang Seng has risen 0.35% today.
Australia and the United Kingdom are closed today for Boxing Day, but European equities should also catch the US stimulus tailwind and move higher. Sentiment should also receive a modest boost with the start of Covid-19 vaccinations across the Eurozone at the weekend.
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