U.S. Stock Index Futures Advance Ahead of Biden’s Inauguration

U.S. stock index futures rose, as most European and Asian equities climbed, amid bullish sentiment a day before President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration.

March contracts on the S&P 500 advanced 0.7% as of 8:15 a.m. in London. Futures added 0.6% on the Dow Jones Industrial Average and 1% for the Nasdaq 100 Index. An Asia-Pacific share gauge gained the most in more than a week. The Stoxx Europe 600 climbed 0.4%, extending a 0.2% increase on Monday.

The spike in U.S. futures is being driven by risk-on sentiment in the run-up to the inauguration of Biden as president, said Alan Richardson, portfolio manager at Samsung Asset Management (HK) Ltd.

U.S. Stock Index Futures Advance Ahead of Biden’s Inauguration

Investors are also awaiting comments from Treasury Secretary nominee Janet Yellen on stimulus and the dollar. The Senate Finance Committee’s hearing Tuesday is likely to feature topics from foreign-exchange policy to taxes, but it will also serve as the first congressional forum where lawmakers will vet Biden’s $1.9 trillion Covid-19 relief plan.

U.S. futures and Asian stocks rising are “a byproduct of the bullish sentiment seen in the market,” said Jingyi Pan, a market strategist at IG Asia Pte.

While optimism about the U.S. aid package had helped spur the so-called reflation trade, the plan is far from a done deal. Biden’s proposal could be watered down under congressional opposition, and there’s the possibility that some taxes could rise.

U.S. markets were shut Monday for the Martin Luther King holiday. On Jan. 15, U.S. stocks fell by the most in more than a week after Wells Fargo & Co. dragged down the banking sector in the wake of disappointing fourth-quarter results.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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