Asian shares vaulted to record highs on Friday and Japans Nikkei hit a threedecade peak as investors looked beyond rising coronavirus cases and political unrest in the United States to focus on hopes for an economic recovery later in the year. European share markets were set to follow Asia higher, with panregion Euro Stoxx 50 futures up 0.77, German DAX futures up 0.83 and FTSE futures up 0.46. U.S. SP 500 emini stock futures also pointed to a cheery open on Friday, rising 0.51 to 3,815.
The upbeat mood came after Wall Street hit record highs on Thursday while bond prices fell as markets bet a new Democraticcontrolled U.S. government would lead to heavy spending and borrowing to support the countrys economic recovery. Market participants are fairly optimistic with how things are progressing, whether its in the political landscape, particularly of course in the United States the potential for more stimulus certainly is a boon to the economy, said James Tao, analyst at CommSec in Sydney.
Youve got the vaccines now coming through, getting the approvals its all happening pretty quickly, he added. The buoyant mood lifted MSCIs broadest index of AsiaPacific shares outside Japan up 1.56, touching a record high. Seouls Kospi led the way, charging 4 higher, also to a record high. In Tokyo, the Nikkei added 2.36, hitting its highest level since August 1990. The dollardenominated Nikkei share average rose above its 1989 peak to a record high.
Hong Kongs Hang Seng rose 1.05…