Asian equities are making cautious gains after the unstable Wall Street session

    NEW YORK (Reuters) – Asian equities opened mostly higher on Wednesday, monitoring Wall Street’s modest gains as prospects of a possible coronavirus win boosted hopes for recovery, while tight supply expectations have pushed oil prices to a year’s high.

    Investors were betting the upcoming Biden administration would increase U.S. distribution of coronavirus vaccines, which would allow much of the U.S. economy to reopen, said Peter Essele, chief of portfolio management at the Commonwealth. Financial Network of Boston.

    “The amount of pent-up demand is slowly running out and in the next year it will likely translate into one of the strongest growths of the past 20 years and the markets are pricing it,” Essele said.

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    “Right now, it’s a race between cases and the vaccine and the vaccine will eventually win and the curve will flatten out.”

    The Asian open, however, was mixed with Japan’s Nikkei 225 up 0.11%, Australia’s S & P / ASX 200 down 0.1%, and South Korea’s KOSPI up 0. , 64%.

    On Wall Street, stocks fluctuated almost unchanged for the session not far off from record. The Dow was up 0.19%, the S&P 500 was up 0.04%, and the Nasdaq Composite was up 0.28%.

    The 10-year US yield hit its highest since March, but fell to near pot level the day after a well-bidded Treasury auction. The yield has risen sharply this year in anticipation of a massive stimulus package from the upcoming democratic administration.

    Democrats said Tuesday they will give Republican President Donald Trump one last chance to leave office days before his term expires or face an unprecedented second impeachment for his supporters’ deadly assault on the US Capitol on Jan.6 United.

    An impeachment process could proceed even after Trump leaves office on January 20. But analysts say they don’t expect further political turmoil in Washington to affect markets.

    “The markets after the elections were strong enough because the uncertainty factor was removed,” Essele said.

    In oil markets, Brent crude oil prices hit their highest levels since February as tighter supply and expectations of a decline in U.S. inventories offset concerns over rising COVID-19 cases globally. Saudi Arabia said it plans to cut production by an additional 1 million barrels per day in February and March.

    Brent crude stood at $ 56.56, up 1.62% on the day, while US crude oil recently climbed 1.76% to $ 53.17 a barrel.

    The US government’s ten-year debt benchmark rose 1/32 of the price to 1.1325%, from 1.134% late on Monday. The yield reached 1.187% at the start of the session.

    The US dollar fell a day after hitting its high since December, and lower Treasury yields pushed the greenback further down.

    The dollar index was down 0.463%, with the euro up 0.45% to $ 1.2204. The Japanese yen strengthened 0.49% against the greenback to 103.75 per dollar.

    Safe haven spot gold added 0.6% to $ 1,855.46 per ounce. Silver gained 2.49% to $ 25.54.

    Chibuike Oguh reporting in New York; Montage by Sam Holmes

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