Stocks in Asia head for yet another record high

13/01/2021 Asian Markets are mostly better this morning, tracking modest Wall Street gains, as the expectation that a vaccine will eventually win the battle against the coronavirus fuelled recovery hopes, while tight supply expectations pushed oil prices to a one-year high. U.S futures are slightly better and the IG Top 40 is up 258 points this all pointing to a better open on the JSE this morning.
Locally the JSE AllShare broke a six day winning streak closing down 0.35%, miners led the market lower with Golds down 1 % and the Resi down 0.95%. South African commission of inquiry into state corruption hears evidence from Anoj Singh, ex-CFO of goverment-owned utility Eskom.Eskom suspended Singh in 2017 after he was linked to a series of questionable deals, and he later resigned. He denies wrongdoing.
WHAT TO WATCH:
• Covid-19 active case numbers, hospital admissions continue to hit new records.
• Bitcoin Trader’s Assets Sought by South African Liquidators.
• South African WhatsApp Group Fights Facebook’s Attempted Removal.
• Astral Foods Cut to Hold at Investec; PT 150 rand
MEDIA SUMMARIES:
• Daily Maverick: AB InBev‘s legal battle over alcohol ban could be a presage of more to come.
• Daily Maverick: R60m World Cup graft scandal: Five more to be charged.
• Business Day.za: Murray & Roberts eyes return to profit after winning A$400m gas contract.
On Wall Street, stocks fluctuated near unchanged for the session, not far from record highs. The Dow rose 0.19%, the S&P 500 gained 0.04% and the Nasdaq Composite added 0.28%. Some investors were monitoring developments in Washington after at least three Republicans said they would join Democrats in a vote expected Wednesday to impeach President Donald Trump over the attack on the US Capitol. With seven days remaining in his term in office, Trump faces impeachment over accusations that he incited insurrection in a speech to his followers last week before hundreds of them stormed the Capitol, leaving five dead. Trump says his speech was appropriate.
Expectations for additional fiscal stimulus is one of the reasons behind the steady move higher in yields. President-elect Joe Biden is expected to release details on his economic plan on Thursday.
Oil prices are higher, with U.S. crude gaining for a seventh day, after an industry report showed a further drop in inventories and investors shrugged off worsening developments in the pandemic. WTI rose 1.051% to $53.77 a barrel, reaching the highest since February after a larger-than-expected decline in US crude inventories. Brent crude rose 1.24% to $57.27. Oil prices were also supported after Saudi Arabia said it plans to cut output by an extra 1-million barrels a day in February and March.
Gold prices edged up this morning as a recent rally in the U.S. dollar and Treasury yields hit a pause, while rising coronavirus cases worldwide also boosted appeal for the safe-haven metal. Gold is up 0.31% at $ 1860, Silver is steady at $25.57 an ounce. Platinum rose 0.3% to $1,078.80, while palladium eased 0.4% to $2,382.44.
Here are some key events coming up:
• JPMorgan Chase & Co., Citigroup Inc. and Wells Fargo & Co.are among those due to report earnings.
• EIA crude oil inventory report is due Wednesday.
• European Central Bank’s Christine Lagarde speaks at an online conference Wednesday.
• U.S. consumer-price inflation figures are due Wednesday.
• U.S. President-elect Joe Biden plans to lay out proposals for fiscal support on Thursday.
• Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell takes part in a webinar on Thursday.
• U.S. initial jobless claims data are due Thursday.
• U.S. retail sales, industrial production, business inventories and consumer sentiment figures are due Friday.