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shares near record levels as vaccination instills normalization hopes

Shares traded on Friday in the world neared record highs as vaccination kick starts around the globe. Asian stocks take their lead from Wall Street as the progress in vaccine distribution prompted bets on further normalization in the global economy and an earnings recovery.

The index of the world’s major 50 markets, MSCI ACWI, rose 0.2% to 667.90, coming within reach of a record high of 670.82 touched about two weeks ago. It was the fifth consecutive day of profits.

European stocks are expected to open on a firm footing, with euro STOXX futures up 0.3% in early trade while Britain’s FTSE futures were flat. MSCI’s gauge of Asian shares outside Japan rose 0.6% while Japan’s Nikkei rallied 1.5%.

On Thursday, the Nasdaq Composite Index and S&P 500 set record highs. Each of the major indexes rose more than 1% on Wall Street.

Jumpei Tanaka, a strategist at Pictet said,

“What’s driving the market is corporate earnings are posting a strong recovery. There are piles of money saved in money market funds (MMF) and elsewhere that are likely to be invested in stocks once the economy normalizes as vaccination programs progress.”

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