Global Markets Slip On Doubts Of U.S. Stimulus Before Mid-March; Dollar Holds Gains

26/01/2021 On Tuesday Asian markets below the waterline as investors considered the possibility that the U.S. fiscal-relief package might be delayed. Treasuries held an overnight climb. Stocks saw declined across the region with Hong Kong underperforming. Tencent Holdings Ltd. led stocks lower, the internet giant’s market value rose to the cusp of $1 trillion for the first time Monday. The S&P 500 closed higher after fluctuating between gains and losses ahead of key earnings reports. Bitcoin’s price could exceed $50,000 over the next three-to-five years, according to cryptocurrency exchange Luno and brokerage OSL – the cryptocurrency is seen as a hedge to inflation and as digital gold.

The JSE closed 0.89% higher at a record close of 64,559 points after earlier climbing as high as 65,346.86. The Top-40 rose 0.9% after Naspers jumped 6.3% to R3,787.68. Citigroup lifted its price target on Tencent shares by 19% to HK$876, prompting an 11% jump in shares of the Chinese internet giant. The rand continues to stay mainly above R15/$ as SA’s high debt trajectory maintains pressure on the domestic currency. Top-40 futures, IG markets, down 620 points – we looking to take cue, at the opening, from Asian markets.

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EU markets closed in negative territory on Monday, with travel and leisure stocks under the baton as the prospect of tighter border restrictions and a prolonged lockdown weighed on sentiment. The FTSE 100 ended the session down 0.84%, The pan-European STOXX 600 index slipped 0.83%, alongside a 1.66% fall for the German Dax. Concerns were made that AstraZeneca might fail to deliver the agreed number of Covid-19 vaccines to the EU in the first quarter of 2021 and possibly longer – reasons unclear at this stage as to why that might be.

Wall Street was buoyed by Tesla Inc., Apple Inc., Microsoft Corp. and big tech ahead of key earnings due this week. At the close, the Dow was down 0.12, while the S&P 500 was 0.36% firmer and the Nasdaq saw out the session 0.69% stronger. U.S stock futures lower this morning. The US has now recorded more than 25.7m confirmed cases of Covid-19, claiming the lives of roughly 429,515 Americans in the process.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan dipped 0.7% to 722.7 but was not far off from a record high struck on Monday and is still up 9% so far this year. Japan’s Nikkei 225 index declined 0.82% , while the Shanghai Composite index dropped 1.37%. Australia’s ASX200 0.36% firmer, buoyed by technology stocks.