Global stocks gain after US lawmakers inch closer toward compromise on a $908 billion coronavirus relief plan

Global stocks gain after US lawmakers inch closer toward compromise on a $908 billion coronavirus relief plan
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  • Global stocks rose on Friday as fresh talks on US coronavirus federal relief lifted investor sentiment.
  • Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi spoke on Thursday for the first time since the November election, adding momentum to talks on a $908 billion stimulus deal.
  • Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell was said to be "heartened" that Democrats are stepping away from the $2.4 trillion proposal they made in October.
  • Oil prices hit their highest since the pandemic began after the OPEC+ group agreed to increase output only gradually from January.

Global stocks rose on Friday after Democrat House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Republican Senate Leader Mitch McConnell raised fresh hopes for a stimulus package to protect the US economy from the impact of a resurgence of the COVID-19 virus.

Both leaders embraced a $908 billion coronavirus relief plan on Wednesday. They spoke for the first time since the presidential election on Thursday, with McConnell saying they're both interested in getting an outcome on two issues: federal relief and spending bills required to prevent a government shutdown, according to the New York Times.

Futures tied to the Dow Jones, S&P 500, and Nasdaq rose 0.4%.
Stimulus talks added life to the cyclical trade as consumer durables and energy were among the best performing sectors in the S&P, Deutsche Bank analysts said. McConnell would need to agree to bring any vote to the floor of the Senate, but analysts said he was "heartened" Democrats were stepping away from their proposed $2.4 trillion bill from late October.

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Investors also digested a Wall Street Journal report on Pfizer's rollout plans, showing the US drugmaker expects to ship only half of the COVID-19 vaccines originally planned for this year due to supply chain issues.

"Near-term uncertainties will prove less meaningful for risk than positive vaccine and fiscal progress," said Mark Haefele, chief investment officer at UBS Global Wealth Management, adding that "markets will welcome a return to a more multilateral (and less fitful) US approach to China from the incoming Biden administration."

London's FTSE 100 hit a nine-month-high, rising 0.7%, as the first shipment of Pfizer and BioNTech's coronavirus vaccines arrived in the UK. The Euro Stoxx 50 rose 0.3% and Germany's DAX rose 0.01%.

Oil prices hit their highest levels since the pandemic began after the OPEC+ producer group reached an agreement to roll back crude production cuts in 2021 more gradually than many had expected. Brent crude futures rose 2%, to $49.70 a barrel, and West Texas Intermediate futures rose 2%, to $46.60 a barrel.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, led by Saudi Arabia, and their partners, including Russia, Kazakhstan, Oman and others, will increase output by 500,000 barrels per day from January. The current deal to reduce output by 7.7 million barrels a day expires at the end of the month.

The group agreed in the spring to a record joint cut of 7.9 million barrels per day to shore up the crude price from its historic crash.

Asian markets were mostly muted as China's Shanghai Composite rose 0.07%, Hong Kong's Hang Seng rose 0.4%, and Japan's Nikkei slipped 0.2%.

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