Updated: Nov 19, 2020
Vaccine focus and trade agreement drives Asian stocks to record highs.
The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership
There is a new acronym to learn after Asia Pacific nations including China, Japan and South Korea signed the world’s largest regional free-trade agreement, RCEP, encompassing nearly a third of the global population and gross domestic product.
The trade news helped push Asian stocks toward a record close, while data showed China’s economic recovery strengthened in October, with consumer spending picking up and industrial production rising faster than expected. U.S. and European futures were also buoyed by signs of opposition to a national American lockdown. The Stoxx Europe 600 index is already up about 13% this month amid a double boost from vaccine news and the U.S. election. Morgan Stanley strategists see a favourable environment for stocks and credit next year as volatility declines.
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Sterling could continue its rally if a deal is actually agreed but fall back below 1.25 and potentially much lower than that if a 'no deal' exit begins to look likely, a range of analysts have suggested.