London, Feb 9 (AFP/APP): Stock markets posted mixed results, the dollar retreated and oil steadied Tuesday, while bitcoin closed in on $50,000 for the first time as investors reacted to US stimulus and Covid vaccine developments.
Asia’s main stock indices closed higher, with Tokyo posting a 30-year high, while Europe was largely stable around the half-way stage. Wall Street ended at new heights overnight but the dollar hit a near three-month low against the British pound on Tuesday.
While stocks are benefitting from expectations of a strong economic rebound, optimism is being curtailed by delays to the huge US stimulus plan.
President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion rescue bill is also seen as adding to global inflation worries, which are starting to be fuelled by rising oil prices and the prospect of large consumer spending post lockdowns. While contributing to dollar weakness, the inflation outlook is helping gold, a traditional store of value.
“One can’t help that for all of this optimism, the real elephant in the room is what happens if oil prices continue to rise at their current rate,” noted Michael Hewson, chief market analyst at CMC Markets UK.
Benchmark crude contract Brent North Sea held around 13-month highs above $60 on Tuesday thanks to surging demand expectations as economies reopen.
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