European stocks extend gains on Biden bounce

In the eurozone, Frankfurt’s DAX 30 index advanced 0.7 per cent to 14,019.26 points and the Paris CAC 40 added 0.7 per cent to 5,665.98. — Reuters pic
In the eurozone, Frankfurt’s DAX 30 index advanced 0.7 per cent to 14,019.26 points and the Paris CAC 40 added 0.7 per cent to 5,665.98. — Reuters pic

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LONDON, Jan 21 — European stock markets rose at the start of trading today, extending a bounce on the back of Joe Biden taking office as US president.

London’s benchmark FTSE 100 index rose 0.5 per cent to 6,774.02 points.

In the eurozone, Frankfurt’s DAX 30 index advanced 0.7 per cent to 14,019.26 points and the Paris CAC 40 added 0.7 per cent to 5,665.98.

Europe’s main stock markets closed up by a similar amount yesterday, when Wall Street hit record highs as Biden took the helm.

Asian stock markets made solid gains today, as the new president prepared to unveil plans on tackling the coronavirus crisis.

Biden yesterday signed a flurry of executive orders, starting with rejoining the 2015 Paris climate accord from which the US withdrew under Donald Trump.

The new administration also wants to push through a US$1.9 trillion (RM7.7 trillion) relief package for the world’s top economy.

“There’s plenty of optimism in the markets at the moment and we’re seeing another promising start to the session,” Oanda trading group analyst Craig Erlam told AFP.

“It seems investors have given their backing to President Biden’s stimulus plans.”

In Europe meanwhile, the European Central Bank meets later today to take stock of their monetary stimulus efforts as more infectious strains of the coronavirus and stricter shutdowns cloud the economic outlook across the eurozone.

ECB policymakers are expected to stop short of taking fresh action after ramping up their pandemic support last month.

The Bank of Japan today revised its growth outlook upwards for the next two years and maintained its ultra-loose monetary policy as it warned that the pandemic makes clear forecasts less likely.

“Central banks may have a little more to do yet if we’re going to see the turbo charged recovery we’re hoping for,” Erlam noted. — AFP

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