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Asian Shares Hit New Peaks, Oil up on Middle East Tensions

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Asian shares advanced to record highs on Monday as successful coronavirus vaccine rollouts globally raise hopes of a rapid economic recovery amid new fiscal aid from Washington, while oil prices rose on heightened tensions in the Middle East.

The signals for Europe and the United States were positive too, with futures for eurostoxx 50 up 0.5, those for Germanys DAX rising 0.7 and Londons FTSE futures climbing 0.8.

Emini futures for the SP 500 were up 0.5, though U.S. stock markets will be closed on Monday for the Presidents Day holiday.

MSCIs broadest index of AsiaPacific shares outside Japan jumped 0.6 to 738.23, with all major indexes in the green.

Japans Nikkei climbed 1.9, reclaiming the 30,000 point level for the first time in over three decades despite data showing the countrys recovery from its worst postwar recession slowed in the fourth quarter.

Australias benchmark index added 0.9.

China and Hong Kong markets are shut for the Lunar New Year holiday.

The highlight of the week will probably be minutes of the U.S. Federal Reserves January meeting, where policymakers decided to leave rates unchanged.

Data on inflation is due from the UK, Canada and Japan, while Friday will see major economies including the United States release the preliminary February purchasing managers indexes PMI.

While economists expect inflation to stay benign for some while yet, the socalled reflation trade has gathered steam in recent days largely led by coronavirus vaccines and…

Australian Dollar Higher as Markets Cheer Vaccine Rollouts

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