Recovery hopes push Asian shares higher | Ralph-Lauren

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Asian stock markets have extended gains on increased optimism about stimulus packages and global economic recovery, while retail investors retreated from GameStop and their new-found interest in silver.

MSCI’s gauge of Asia Pacific stocks outside Japan was up 1.25 per cent mid-morning on Tuesday, building on Monday’s rise. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index and China’s benchmark CSI300 Index opened 1.7 per cent and 0.33 per cent higher, respectively. Japan’s Nikkei 225 gained 0.67 per cent.

Markets were buoyant before negotiations on Tuesday between US President Joe Biden and Republican senators on a new COVID support bill.

The GOP’s $US618 billion stimulus plan released early Monday was about a third the size of the President’s proposal. Top Democrats later on Monday filed a joint $US1.9 trillion budget measure in a step toward bypassing Republicans.

“The debate (around the stimulus package) will be really interesting. Markets will follow it,” said Kyle Rodda, market analyst at IG. “(but) markets have been pricing in that a stimulus package will be put in place in the future.”

Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 benchmark added a further 1.23 per cent, as the country’s central bank is expected to maintain its current policy setting when it releases the results of its Tuesday board meeting.

South Korea’s KOSPI also gained, adding 2.3 per cent, as the country’s ruling party readies another round of COVID-19 cash handouts and an extra budget.

Institutional investors are still digesting the retail trading frenzy that has boosted GameStop Corp and other so-called meme stocks in recent sessions against their financial fundamentals.

Spot silver prices eased on Tuesday, falling more than one per cent to $US28.30 in early trade, as some of the feverish retail-trader driven interest in the precious metal cooled.

On Monday, amateur investors who have been organising on social media sites like Reddit and Twitter, set their sights on silver, driving up mining stocks around the world and sending precious metals dealers scrambling for bars and coins to meet demand.

Spot gold rose 0.12 per cent to $US1,862.36 per ounce Tuesday. US gold futures fell 0.04 per cent to settle at $US1,860.1 an ounce.

Brent crude was up 0.75 per cent at $US56.77 a barrel. US crude recorded the same gain to $US53.96 on Tuesday morning as falling inventories and rising fuel demand due to a massive snow storm in the northeast United States propped up prices.

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