Solid Asia Sets Global Stocks on Extended Rally

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A rally in Asia put global equities on track for a seventh day of gains on Friday as investors bet the U.S. will lead the world out of the COVID19 pandemic, with the focus turning to a multitrillion dollar spending boost by the Biden administration.

Tokyo led the advance, with the Nikkei jumping 2.1. MSCIs broadest index of AsiaPacific shares outside Japan rose 1.1 and hit its highest level this month.

The Hang Seng climbed 0.6, but Chinese blue chips were an outlier, slipping 0.1 a day after closing at a near threemonth high.

The MSCI world equity index added 0.2 to 710.34, a fraction off the alltime closing high of 710.36 set on May 7.

European share markets looked set to open stronger, with panregion Euro Stoxx 50 futures up 0.4 in early deals. FTSE futures were also 0.4 higher.

U.S. stocks were also poised for further gains after the SP 500s 0.1 rise overnight, with futures pointing to a 0.3 increase at the open.

The New York Times reported Thursday that President Joe Biden will seek 6 trillion in federal spending for the 2022 fiscal year, a day before the White House is expected to unveil its budget proposal.

Meanwhile, the number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits dropped to the lowest since midMarch 2020, data Thursday on showed, with companies desperate for workers to meet surging demand unleashed by a rapidly reopening economy.

A separate report confirmed a 6.4 acceleration in the annualised rate of economic growth last quarter,…

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