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GLOBAL MARKETS-Stocks hit record high as Biden transition, vaccines brighten outlook

Stock MarketsNov 25, 2020 04:18
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* MSCI's all-country world index hits record high

* European shares up 0.1%, near nine-month peak

* Energy, banks climb

* Risk-sensitive currencies supported, bitcoin near record

* 2020 asset performance

By Tom Wilson and Hideyuki Sano

LONDON/TOKYO, Nov 25 (Reuters) - Global shares reached record highs on Wednesday after the Dow Jones broke 30,000, with investors relieved at the prospect of a smooth handover of power after the U.S. presidential election and confident a COVID-19 vaccine would soon be ready.

President-elect Joe Biden on Tuesday introduced his foreign policy and national security team after President Donald Trump cleared the way to prepare for the start of his administration.

Reports that Biden planned to nominate former Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen as Treasury Secretary, potentially easing the passage of a fiscal stimulus package to counter COVID-19 damage, also cheered markets. renewed demand for shares pushed MSCI's broadest gauge of world stocks .MIWD00000PUS to a record high of 622.12. It was last up 0.1%

European shares Euro STOXX 600 .STOXX followed suit, gaining 0.1% in early trading to hold near nine-month highs, with banking stocks .SX7P gaining ground, then falling back. Asia, Japan's Nikkei .N225 earlier rose to a 29-year high. MSCI's index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan .MIAPJ0000PUS traded down 0.2% as Chinese shares were capped by worries about rising debt defaults. Dow Jones Industrial Average on Tuesday crossed 30,000 for the first time on Tuesday Futures for the S&P 500 EScv1 added 0.2%.

"The world is going to look a lot better this time next year than it does now, and that's what equity markets are reflecting," said Mike Bell, global market strategist at J.P. Morgan Asset Management. "The fact is the outlook has dramatically changed in the last month."


Amid the improved outlook, investors bet that forthcoming virus vaccines would ease the pain of industries hit hardest by the pandemic, from tourism to energy.

Global energy shares .MIWD0EN00PUS have risen almost 34% so far this month, on track for their best month on record as crude prices rally.

Oil prices held near their highest levels since March on the improved global economic outlook. Brent futures LCOc1 were up 1.3% to $48.48 per barrel, touching a high last seen in March.

Those risk-on moves played out in bond markets, too. Yields on benchmark euro zone debt rose from record lows. German Bund yields DE10YT=RR traded near their highest levels in almost a week. Yields rise when bonds fall.

U.S. Treasuries US10YT=RR were pressured, too, as investors bet any fiscal stimulus package in Washington would bring more debt.

Riskier currencies gained against safe havens, including the U.S. dollar. Against a basket of six currencies, the dollar =USD was down 0.1% at 92.048 after falling 0.4% on Tuesday.

The Australian dollar AUD=D3 moved to its highest since early September, already helped by investors unwinding bets on additional monetary easing.

The yen, a safe haven in times of political and economic stress, was little changed at 104.38 per dollar JPY= .

Still, even amid the risk-on mood, bitcoin was flat at $19,179 BTC=BTSP , staying within sight of its record peak of $19,666 after November gains of nearly 40%.

<^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ World FX rates in 2020 2020 asset performance


GLOBAL MARKETS-Stocks hit record high as Biden transition, vaccines brighten outlook

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