S&P 500 Sets Record Amid Infrastructure Deal, Dollar Retreats.

25/06/2021 Asian-pacific stock markets rose on Friday, tracking gains on Wall Street overnight that lifted the Nasdaq and the S&P 500 to record highs after U.S. President Joe Biden embraced a bipartisan Senate infrastructure deal. Wall Street shares of industrial and construction companies, including Caterpillar Inc. and Vulcan Materials Co., were boosted by statements on a tentative deal – a $579 billion infrastructure plan on Thursday. Equities gained in Japan, China and Hong Kong. Australian shares weathered the imposition of virus lockdowns in parts of Sydney. An MSCI Inc. gauge of global stocks is on course for its best week since April.

Gold spot edge 0.23% higher at $1779.40 as dollar index slips 0.11% against rivals. Oil was up on Friday as investors await an upcoming OPEC+ meeting, next week sometime. Brent oil futures inched up 0.16% to $75.68, while WTI futures inched up 0.11% to $73.38.

Here are some events to watch this week:
• U.S. personal income/spending, University of Michigan sentiment on Friday

Locally, a surge in Old Mutual Ltd. shares following news of its plans to distribute part of its stake in Nedbank Ltd. countered weakness among gold and platinum miners. The insurer advanced 6.12% to close firm at R13.70, having to be high as 8% during the course of the trading day. The All-share gained 0.67% to 66,26349 points and the Top-40 0.71%. Retailers rose 1.51%, industrial metals 1.26%, resources 1.06% and financials 1.05%. Precious-metals miners dropped, dragging on the overall market, as gold and platinum prices fell. Gold Fields Ltd. -0.93%, Sibanye Stillwater Ltd. -0.38% at the close. The rand gaining 0.21% to the dollar at R14.1750, while the Yield on 10-year govt rand bonds fell 2.60 bps to 9.27 %. Tencent firm 2.75% firmer in Hong Kong and the Top-40 futures 190+ points in the green on IG markets – looking forward to a positive start at the opening bell, locally.

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• Hudaco Industries Ltd. (HDC SJ)

European shares rallied on Thursday as investors focused on a ‘dovish’ outcome to the BOE’s policy meeting. Banking and retail stocks led gains in Europe on Thursday, as investors focused on an economic rebound against the backdrop of fears of a tapering in global monetary stimulus. The pan-European Stoxx 600 index was up 0.87%, DAX adding 0.86% as business confidence data showed more optimism, alongside the FTSE100 bagging 0.51%, while France’s CAC-40 outperformed, rising 1.22% to 6,631.15.

The S&P 500 Index advanced to a fresh record amid progress over a bipartisan infrastructure bill and a slew of data that pointed to an improving economy. Three-quarters of the S&P 500 members rose, driving the benchmark up 0.6%. Dow Jones was up 0.95%, while the Nasdaq Composite saw out the session 0.69% stronger at 14,369.71. Jobless claims data revealed that initial jobless claims came to 411,000 in the week ended 19 June, a modest decline from the previous week’s print of 418,000 that came short of estimates for a reading of 380,000. The U.S. economy grew at a 6.4% clip over the first three months of 2021, leading economists to expect this year to be the strongest year for the economy in growth.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan climbed 0.58%. China stocks climbed on Friday, and are on track to snap a three-week losing streak, underpinned by gains in heavyweight financial firms. The CSI300 index rose 1.66% to 5,241.63 point, while the Shanghai Composite Index gained 0.91%. In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng index rose 1.1% to 29,210.31 point. Japanese shares rose on Friday, led by cyclical and technology stocks, the Nikkei225 gained 0.66%, while the Aussie’s ASX200 was firm 0.45% led by financials and materials sectors.