GLOBAL MARKETS – Asian stocks see gains as Brexit business expects to grow

NEW YORK, Dec 23 (Reuters) – Asian stocks were expected to rise on Thursday, before the Christmas holiday, with global investors celebrating a possible deal with Brexit and the prospects for economic recovery, largely ignoring the threat of US President Donald Trump to veto a long-awaited COVID aid package.

Australia’s S & P / ASX 200 rose 0.78% in early trading, while Japan’s Nikkei 225 futures rose 0.07% and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng futures rose 0.17%.

Investors applauded a potential Brexit trade deal between Britain and the European Union, which raised hopes that distant allies would avoid a turbulent economic disruption on New Year’s Day.

“The framework for a Brexit trade deal gave investors the green light to start buying everything in Europe,” said Edward Moya, Senior Market Analyst, OANDA in New York.

The potential for a Brexit deal boosted the pound sterling, which rose 0.13% against the dollar, to $ 1.3509, after closing with a 0.9% rise. The pound also attracted support after France lifted its freight ban from Britain, which it had enacted in response to a variant of the rapidly spreading COVID-19 in the United Kingdom.

MSCI’s global equity indicator rose 0.02%, having returned some earlier gains in year-end trading.

Wall Street ended higher, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average closing 0.38% higher and the S&P 500 getting 0.07% higher. The Nasdaq Composite fell 0.29%.

A series of mixed economic data from the United States showed fewer claims for unemployment benefits and an increase in new orders for durable goods, but also a retraction in consumer spending, a drop in personal income and weakening sentiment as the shopping season Christmas is coming to an end amid a new pandemic.

Investors ignored President Trump’s comments, saying that a nearly $ 900 billion stimulus bill, approved after months of dispute in Congress, was “a shame” that he might not sign. Trump said he wanted to increase payments from $ 600 for “ridiculously low” individuals to $ 2,000 in a video posted on Twitter.

“The feeling of risk is guiding the markets so far and appears to be more geared towards possible optimism about a Brexit deal and the hand-picked parts of US launches, rather than Trump’s reckless antics about signing the stimulus financing project, ”said Derek Holt, head of capital markets economics at Scotiabank.

Oil prices have stabilized by more than 2%, as US stocks of oil, gasoline and spirits have raised investors’ hopes for some return on fuel demand. Brent oil futures recently rose 2.08% to $ 51.12 a barrel, while US West Texas Intermediate oil futures were flat at $ 48.12 a barrel. (Reporting by John McCrank, Additional reporting by April Joyner; Editing by Sam Holmes)