Asian markets mostly up after Wall Street record
HONG KONG, April 8: Asian markets mostly rose Thursday with traders keeping tabs on the progress of US President Joe Biden's huge infrastructure plan, while also taking heart from Federal Reserve meeting minutes reinforcing its intention to keep rates at record lows for an extended period.
The broad gains came after yet another record for the S&P 500 on Wall Street, helped by a general mood of optimism that the world economy is on course for a strong recovery as vaccines are rolled out.
Biden was out Wednesday pushing his $2.25 trillion roads-and-bridges plans, warning it was a make-or-break moment to ensure the United States "can lead the world as it has historically done".
The prospect of another giant spending splurge, coming soon after the passage of his $1.9 trillion stimulus, has added to expectations the country is on course for blockbuster growth.
However, analysts said the president faced a battle to get an agreement on the plan, which calls for a hike in corporate taxes to pay for it, with even some Democrats opposed to a big rise.
While his party will only need a simple majority to get it through the Senate, "there is no guarantee this latest fiscal proposal can get up without either being softened in terms of the proposed tax rises and/or without some Republican support," said National Australia Bank's Ray Attrill.
Investors are also keenly watching developments as Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen pushes for a global corporate tax on wealthy firms that have done well during the pandemic in order to finance recovery efforts. -AFP