World Shares near Record Levels as Vaccines Inject Hope

Global shares approached record highs on Friday and the dollar headed for its best weekly gain in three months, as progress in vaccine distribution and U.S. stimulus hopes prompted bets on further normalisation in the global economy.

An index of the worlds major 50 markets, MSCI ACWI, rose 0.2 to 667.9, coming within reach of a record high of 670.82 touched about two weeks ago. It was the fifth consecutive day of gains.

The STOXX index of Europes 600 largest stocks was up 0.2 at 410.4, though slower vaccination rollout in continental Europe compared with Britain and the United States tempered optimism.

MSCIs gauge of Asian shares outside Japan rose 0.4 while Japans Nikkei rallied 1.5.

Expectations of a large stimulus by U.S. President Joe Bidens administration also supported risk sentiment while betterthanexpected data on U.S. job markets released in the past two days fanned further hopes of a strong payroll report due at 1330 GMT.

The fact that U.S. stocks are hitting record highs is not just thanks to the vaccine rollout, but also expectations of fiscal stimulus as it looks as though the Democrats will go on their own and not compromise with Republicans on a smaller package, said Philip Shaw, Chief Economist at Investec in London.

On Wall Street, each of the major indexes rose more than 1 on Thursday, with the Nasdaq Composite Index and SP 500 setting record highs.

Longerterm U.S. Treasury yields rose in anticipation of a large pandemic relief bill from…

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