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Asian Shares Hit Record High as U.S. Stimulus Within Reach

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Asian shares scaled a record high on Friday on growing prospects of a large U.S. economic stimulus package, while hopes that coronavirus vaccine rollouts will boost the global economy underpinned investor sentiment.

MSCIs broadest index of AsiaPacific shares outside Japan rose 0.78, surpassing its Nov. 25 peak, led by gains in the tech sector, while Japans Nikkei dipped 0.22 on profittaking.

European stocks are seen mixed. Euro zone stock futures traded 0.14 lower while Britains FTSE futures were up 0.49.

In New York, the SP 500 erased earlier gains after the Wall Street Journal reported that Pfizer had slashed the target for the rollout of its COVID19 vaccine due to supply chain obstacles.

Yet, the damage did not last long, with SP500 futures gaining 0.23 in early Friday trade.

A bipartisan, 908 billion coronavirus aid plan gained momentum in the U.S. Congress on Thursday as conservative lawmakers expressed their support.

A deal before the yearend looked almost impossible a while back but now a package of around 1 trillion seems within reach, said Norihiro Fujito, chief investment strategist at Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley Securities.

On top of fiscal support, investors expect the U.S. Federal Reserve to tweak guidance on its asset purchase scheme later this month while the European Central Bank looks certain to increase its bond buying next week.

Progress in developing COVID19 vaccines also led investors to bet a recovery in corporate earnings will accelerate…

US STOCKSSP 500 Ends Lower after Hitting Record High

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