Asian stocks gain after Trump criticizes economic aid bill

By: |
December 23, 2020 1:06 PM

Overnight, Wall Street's benchmark S&P 500 index lost 0.2per cent after Trump criticized the aid plan approved by Congress.

asian marketsThe Shanghai Composite Index rose 0.8per cent to 3,382.08 and the Nikkei 225 in Tokyo added 0.1per cent to 26,470.94.

Asian stock markets rose Wednesday after President Donald Trump suggested he may veto a USD900 billion economic aid package. Shanghai, Tokyo, Hong Kong and South Korea advanced in light trading ahead of this week’s Christmas holiday.

Overnight, Wall Street’s benchmark S&P 500 index lost 0.2per cent after Trump criticized the aid plan approved by Congress. He urged lawmakers to raise payments to the public.

”Hopes for an unambiguous ‘Santa rally’ have been tragically hijacked,” said Mizuho Bank in a report. Meanwhile, investor nerves were rattled by the emergence of a new coronavirus strain in Britain that spreads more easily. That has prompted some 40 governments to ban travelers from Britain.

The Shanghai Composite Index rose 0.8per cent to 3,382.08 and the Nikkei 225 in Tokyo added 0.1per cent to 26,470.94. The Hang Seng in Hong Kong gained 0.2per cent to 26,180.10.

The Kospi in Seoul climbed 0.6per cent to 2,751.30 and Australia’s S&P-ASX 200 was 0.5per cent higher at 6,630.30. New Zealand advanced while Singapore and Indonesia declined.

Investors are hoping a new aid package from Congress can prop up the economy until the rollout of coronavirus vaccines allows business and consumer activity to revive.

Congress, after months of wrangling, approved a plan Monday night that would send USD600 to most Americans, give USD300 per week to the unemployed and deliver other aid to businesses.

Trump, however, complained on Twitter that the measure did too little for ordinary Americans. He urged legislators to increase payments to as much as USD4,000 per couple and ?get rid of the wasteful and unnecessary items from this legislation and to send me a suitable bill.

On Wall Street, the S&P 500 declined to 3,687.26. About 65per cent of the companies in the index fell. Communication services, financial and other companies accounted for much of the selling. Tech companies rose.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average slid 0.7per cent to 30,015.51. The Nasdaq composite rose 0.5per cent to a record 12,807.92. Even without the new coronavirus strain, the resurgent pandemic has already been dragging on the U.S. economy.

Two reports Tuesday added to discouraging economic data. One showed consumer confidence fell more than expected this month. Another showed the red-hot housing market is slowing.

In energy markets, benchmark U.S. crude lost 67 cents to USD46.35 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract fell 72 cents on Tuesday to USD47.02. Brent crude, the basis for pricing international oils, declined 68 cents to USD49.48 per barrel in London. It shed 83 cents the previous session to USD50.08 a barrel.

The dollar declined to 103.48 yen from Tuesday’s 103.67. The euro gained to USD1.2186 from USD1.2161.

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