Stocks Kick Off Week on Bullish Note; Pound Surges: Markets Wrap

Stocks started off the week in a bullish mood as investors took comfort from further stimulus bill negotiations and the impending deployment of the first vaccine in the U.S.

S&P 500 futures gained about 0.6%, with the first deliveries of the Pfizer Inc.-BioNTech SE vaccine in the U.S. due to arrive Monday morning. A bipartisan group of lawmakers is set to unveil a $908 billion pandemic relief bill the same day, although there is “no guarantee” Congress will pass it, a key negotiator said.

In Europe, cyclical shares powered stocks higher and the pound jumped after Brexit talks were extended past a Sunday deadline, raising hopes of a deal. Improving business confidence helped Japanese shares rally to a more than two-year high earlier Monday.

Global equities are looking to rebound from their first week of losses in six, even as hurdles remain for a U.S. stimulus deal and the coronavirus continues to spread. The head of the U.S. government’s vaccination drive said as much as 80% of the population could be given the shot by next summer, putting “herd immunity” within reach. Wall Street strategists are in broad agreement that vaccines will supercharge the economy next year.

“There is huge pent-up investment demand across the entire institutional world,” Michael Strobaek, global chief investment officer at Credit Suisse Group AG, told Bloomberg TV. “We’re steering into year-end with still tons of liquidity on the sidelines. I would not be on the wrong side of that.”

Elsewhere, AstraZeneca Plc shares slumped to an eight-month low after it agreed to buy Alexion Pharmaceuticals Inc. for $39 billion. WTI crude oil topped $47 a barrel after another tanker explosion in the Middle East raised concerns over the region’s stability.

Here are some key events coming up:

Tuesday brings China industrial production and retail sales data for November.The Federal Reserve meets Tuesday and Wednesday, with markets widely expecting fresh guidance on its continued asset purchases.Policy decisions from the Bank of England and central banks in Mexico, Switzerland and Indonesia are due Thursday. Japan and Russia announce decisions Friday.

These are the main moves in markets:

Stocks

Futures on the S&P 500 Index rose 0.6% as of 9:49 a.m. London time.The Stoxx Europe 600 Index jumped 0.8%.The MSCI Asia Pacific Index climbed 0.1%.The MSCI Emerging Market Index sank 0.1%.

Currencies

The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index dipped 0.4%.The euro gained 0.3% to $1.2154.The British pound jumped 1.4% to $1.3407.The onshore yuan was little changed at 6.543 per dollar.The Japanese yen strengthened 0.3% to 103.77 per dollar.

Bonds

The yield on 10-year Treasuries rose one basis point to 0.91%.The yield on two-year Treasuries increased less than one basis point to 0.12%.Germany’s 10-year yield climbed one basis point to -0.63%.Britain’s 10-year yield jumped four basis points to 0.208%.Japan’s 10-year yield decreased less than one basis point to 0.011%.

Commodities

West Texas Intermediate crude increased 1% to $47.04 a barrel.Brent crude gained 1.1% to $50.52 a barrel.Gold weakened 0.6% to $1,828.88 an ounce.

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