U.S. equity futures climbed along with Asian shares and the dollar weakened as investors took some comfort from further stimulus bill negotiations and the impending deployment of the first vaccine in the U.S. The pound climbed after Brexit talks were extended past a Sunday deadline.
Treasury yields were steady and S&P 500 futures gained about 0.5%, with the first deliveries of the Pfizer Inc.-BioNTech SE vaccine in the U.S. due to arrive Monday morning. Meantime, a bipartisan group of lawmakers will unveil a $908 billion pandemic relief bill the same day, although there is “no guarantee” Congress will pass it, a key negotiator said.
Sterling pared some early gains but remained firmer against the dollar. The U.K. and European Union said they will continue talking about a trade agreement, raising hopes of a deal. In Asia, improving business confidence helped Japanese stocks rally to a more than two-year high. Elsewhere, the offshore yuan outperformed.
Risk assets have begun the week positively, with global stocks looking to recover after their first week of losses in six. U.S. lawmakers remain deadlocked in talks over further stimulus and the coronavirus continues to spread. While both sides are closer than ever to agreeing on a price tag — coalescing around a $900 billion figure — there’s no sign they can get a deal anytime soon.
The vaccine “is giving markets the ability to look past the valley,” Andy Kapyrin, partner and director of research at Regentatlantic Capital LLC, said on Bloomberg TV. “Stocks pose a reasonable value proposition” relative to bonds, he said.
On the virus front, 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. Germany will enter a hard lockdown from Wednesday with non-essential stores shuttered, employers urged to close workplaces and school children encouraged to stay home.
Here are some key events coming up:
These are the main moves in markets: