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Global stock markets have rallied to new all-time highs as investors anticipate a smooth presidential transition in the US, and effective vaccine rollouts in the coming months.
MSCI’s gauge of shares across the globe has hit a new peak, with markets looking forward to better times in 2021.The MSCI All Country World Index Photograph: Refinitiv/MSCI
Wall Street hit record highs last night, with the Dow Jones industrial average scaling the 30,000 peak for the first time ever.
The rally came as president-elect Biden’s transition process formally got underway, removing lingering political uncertainty and raising hopes of growth-boosting policies from the new administration.
As Joshua Mahony, senior market analyst at the financial trading firm IG, put it:
“With the economic data improving, a vaccine on the way, and Biden-led push for more stimulus on the horizon, there are plenty of reasons to be optimistic for the months ahead.”
European markets finished at a nine-month high last night, and further, smaller, gains are expected this morning:
IGSquawk (@IGSquawk) November 25, 2020
Reports that Janet Yellen is lined up to be the next Treasury secretary also lifted stocks.
The former Federal Reserve chair is likely to work closely with her successor, Jerome Powell, to deliver coordinated fiscal and monetary easing, and make full employment a priority.
Chris Weston of brokerage Pepperstone explains:
A consistent barrage of positive news flow about vaccines, a failure for high frequency/real-time data to be dramatically impacted by the COVID restrictions, and a positive vibe towards Janet Yellen’s appointment as UST Secretary are all contributing towards the flow.
A smooth transition of power towards the Biden administration is also a catalyst.
But this market optimism doesn’t match the feeling on the ground, with consumer confidence dropping in the US, France and Germany yesterday.
And beyond the markets, the Covid-19 pandemic continues to rage, with global cases approaching the 60m figure, and more than 1.4m deaths. Cases are rising at record rates in America, where healthcare workers are warning that clinics and emergency rooms are being overwhelmed.
In the UK, chancellor Rishi Sunak will present the government’s Spending Review; expected to include a £4.3bn package of support to help the jobless find work after this year’s economic turmoil.
The Office for Budget Responsibility’s new economic forecast will also highlight the fearful damage from the pandemic, likely to show Britain heading for a drop in GDP of more than 10% this year, and rising unemployment next year.
We’ll also get a hefty dollop of US economy data, including the latest weekly jobless numbers, ahead of tomorrow’s Thanksgiving holiday in America.
- 12.30pm GMT: Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s spending review
- 1.30pm GMT: US weekly jobless figures
- 1.30pm GMT: US durable goods orders for October
- 3pm GMT: University of Michigan survey of US consumer sentiment
- 3pm GMT : US new home sales for October
- 3.30pm GMT: IEA weekly crude oil inventory