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Stock markets hit new records on Biden spending plan


APRIL 2, 2021

Asian markets rose on Friday following a record-breaking session on Wall Street.

The S&P 500 broke the 4000-point barrier for the first time, while the Nasdaq and Dow Jones also made gains.

Investors were buoyed by President Joe Biden’s new $2.3tn (£1.7tn) infrastructure spending plan and growing optimism about the economy.

Markets in Tokyo and Seoul were up more than 1%, while Shanghai was also in positive territory.

Trading was thin in Asia, as markets in Hong Kong and Australia were closed for Good Friday.

Renewed optimism

The latest highs in the US point to renewed confidence among investors that the economic recovery is gaining pace.

The S&P 500 has gained 7% since the start of 2021, although the Nasdaq is about 5% below its peak in February.

President Biden’s mega rebuilding package – which follows the passage of a $1.9tn stimulus – has stirred more enthusiasm among investors.

“Investors greeted optimistically President Biden’s infrastructure plan,” brokerage TD Securities wrote in a note to clients.

A key measure of US manufacturing activity also soared to its highest level in more than 37 years in March, a clear sign that a rebound is underway.

The Institute for Supply Management (ISM) said its index of national factory activity jumped to a reading of 64.7 last month from 60.8 in February.

A reading above 50 indicates expansion in manufacturing, which accounts for 12% of the US economy.

Courtesy/Source: BBC News