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Stocks & Shares

World shares mixed ahead of 2021


Japan’s Nikkei dropped 0.45%, while Euro Stoxx 50 futures declined 0.2%

Asian shares hit a record high on Wednesday with investors betting on a strong economic recovery next year, as there is little sign policymakers wind back massive stimulus efforts aimed at staving off coronavirus-fuelled downturns.

MSCI’s gauge of Asia-Pacific shares excluding Japan rose 1.2% to hit a record high, led by gains in Chinese shares and bringing its gains so far this year to 18.9%.

Japan’s Nikkei share average lost 0.45% on its last trading day of 2020 after jumping to a 30-year high on Tuesday. For the year, it was up 16.0%.

European shares are seen dipping slightly with Euro Stoxx 50 futures down 0.2% and FTSE futures losing 0.1%.

Convictions that global monetary authorities will continue to pump liquidity into the banking system to support the pandemic-stricken economy underpin risk assets.

We think continued monetary and fiscal policy support means investors should take risk. Stocks will do better than bonds. Within bonds, corporate bonds should beat government bonds, said Hiroshi Yokotani, head of Asia-Pacific fixed-income business at State Street Global Advisors.

E-Mini futures for the S&P 500 rose 0.41%, erasing losses made in the previous day after U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell put off a vote on President Donald Trump’s call to boost COVID-19 relief checks.

Even an alarming spread of a COVID-19 variant in many countries has so far done little to curb investors’ appetite.

The United States has detected its first-known case of the highly infectious coronavirus strain already spotted in Britain and South Africa.

But a crack may be appearing in market euphoria, said Yasuo Sakuma, chief investment officer at Libra Investments, noting some red-hot U.S. small cap shares, such as biotech and software-as-a-service stocks, have failed to catch up with a broader rally.

There are lots of loss-making companies that are valued at more than $10 billion. I think the time is up for the illusion that they can make money by doing business only in a virtual world. Soon these firms could find themselves no longer able to attract money just because they have a nice business idea or some nice test products. he said.

The Russell 2000, a U.S. stock index that includes small cap shares, fell 1.85% on Tuesday.

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