Stocks rose in China and changed little in Japan on Friday, with most world markets closed for the Christmas holiday.
The mixed session followed a breakthrough during Wall Street’s shortened Christmas Eve trading, when investors began the holiday weekend seemingly unconcerned by President Donald Trump’s threat not to sign a major approved economic stimulus package by Congress this week.
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The economic package remained in limbo after Republican lawmakers rejected Trump’s demand that the year-end spending account give most Americans $ 2,000 COVID relief checks – far more than the $ 600 members of his own party had agreed.
Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 fell less than 0.1%, to 26,656.61, after the government reported that retail sales fell 2% from the previous year in November, while consumer prices fell the most in one decade.
The Shanghai Composite index rose 1% to 3,396.56. Shares also rose in Taiwan and Thailand.
The dollar weakened to 103.54 Japanese yen from 103.65 yen on Thursday night. The euro rose from $ 1.2186 to $ 1.2196.
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On Thursday, the S&P 500 gained 0.4% to 3,703.06, but ended the week down 0.2%. Relatively secure investments, such as utilities and real estate, were among the biggest earners, while energy stocks fell.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.2% to 30,199.87 and the Nasdaq compound rose 0.3% to 12,804.73.
Investors remain focused on Washington, where Democrats in Congress must try to amend the $ 900 billion COVID stimulus project that President Trump threatened to veto. Democrats support higher pay for individuals, but that is unlikely to win support in the Republican-controlled Senate.
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The hope is that Trump will step back from his veto threat and that the stimulus package can balance the economy until widespread vaccines can help the world get back to normal.
Meanwhile, the United States’ economy continued to deteriorate under the outbreaks, infections and widespread hospitalizations of coronavirus.
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