Stock Futures Gain After U.S. Stimulus Agreement: Markets Wrap

Asian Stocks Soar On the Back of Imminent U.S. Stimulus Package

Stocks are higher in another day of bumpy trading Wednesday as Congress moves closer to passing a $2 trillion package to help the economy deal with damage caused by the coronavirus.

"Japanese shares have been bolstered by aggressive buying from the Bank of Japan and pension money this week".

In metals markets, gold changed hands at $1,608.78 an ounce, retaining most of Tuesday's gains of nearly 5 per cent, its biggest jump since 2008.

At 13:11 p.m. ET the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 1,491.90 points, or 8.02%, at 20,083.83, the S&P 500 was up 153.38 points, or 6.86%, at 2,390.78 and the Nasdaq Composite was up 394.84 points, or 5.76%, at 7,255.52. "Europe and Japan should also see double-digit contractions", said Nobuhiko Kuramochi, chief strategist at Mizuho Securities.

Investors will be looking to see if the New Zealand stock market responds well to a US$2 trillion (NZ$3.42) stimulus United States lawmakers negotiated overnight to support businesses affected by coronavirus.

Top aides to Republican President Donald Trump and senior Republican and Democrat senators agreed on the unprecedented bill, which amounts to almost half the $4.7 trillion the USA government spends annually, after five days of marathon talks.

"The data that we don't have is what is the impact going to be to GDP, on earnings and how many people are going to wind up losing their job".

President Trump indicated Tuesday that he wants to accelerate the comeback, saying he wants the country "opened up and raring to go" by Easter.

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In particular, its financial hub of New York City suffered another quick and brutal rise in the number of infections to around 15,000, raising worries about a shortage of hospital beds.

In the currency market, the dollar has slipped as a greenback liquidity crunch loosened slightly.

Investors are on watch for whether US and global equity indexes can post their first back-to-back daily gains since the rout began a month ago, even as economies from Delhi to Rome and Seattle reel from the deepening pandemic.

The dollar index fell 0.216%, with the euro up 0.44% to $1.0834.

The prospect of a massive spending splurge, combined with the Federal Reserve's pledge to essentially print as much cash is needed, sent Wall Street into overdrive Tuesday, with the Dow seeing its biggest rise since 1933, while the S&P 500 enjoyed its best day in more than a decade.

India, the world's third largest oil consumer, ordered its 1.3 billion residents to stay home for three weeks, the latest big fuel user to announce restrictions on social movement, which have destroyed demand for gasoline and jet fuel worldwide.

Even as the Indonesian index was closed for trading on account of a local holiday, the central bank and the country's financial regulator chose to cut trading hours next week as part of their efforts to contain the virus.

U.S crude futures rose 4.5% to $25.10 per barrel.

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