Asian markets set for messy open after U.S. stocks peak following Biden inauguration



© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A TV set showing the broadcast of the inauguration of U.S. President Joe Biden is seen behind a monitor showing Nikkei stock index at the trading room of foreign exchange trading company Gaitame.com in Tokyo

By Jessica DiNapoli

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Asian investors were expecting a mixed day of trading after Wall Street peaked on Thursday, pushed upward by continued optimism about economic stimulus to counteract the COVID-19 pandemic promised by newly inaugurated U.S. President Joe Biden.

“The markets had such a strong run yesterday after the presidential inauguration in the U.S. and the run-up to that, that the lead coming in from the U.S. is a bit messy,” said Shane Oliver, chief economist at investment manager AMP Capital in Sydney. “A lot of the good news is out there. I suspect a fairly flat day.”

MSCI’s gauge of stocks across the globe gained 0.02%.

Australia’s fell 0.08% in early trade Friday.

On Thursday, the closed up .82%, and the futures contract is now down 0.49% from the close.

Hong Kong’s futures were down 0.17%.

On Wall Street, both the and closed at record highs on Thursday, up .03% and .55%, respectively.

The fell 0.04%. It had been poised for a record until falling into negative territory in the final minutes of trading.

The U.S. dollar fell on Thursday for the third straight session, as investors ploughed their money into higher-yielding currencies on optimism about a recovery from the pandemic in the world’s largest economy.

U.S. Treasury yields on the longer end of the curve inched up along with inflation expectations on Thursday as the market eyed the prospect for additional debt supply under Biden’s administration.

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Oil prices steadied on Thursday after data showed an unexpected increase in inventories that revived pandemic-related fuel demand concerns. Hopes for a U.S. stimulus package also lifted prices.

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