• US market indices are up on strong gains in travel stocks


    ​Major indexes on Wall Street rose at the opening yesterday, supported by strong gains in travel stocks with the launch of the Covid-19 vaccine campaign across the United States, while pharmaceutical industry Alexion shares jumped in the wake of a generous bid from Britain's AstraZeneca.

    According to "Reuters", the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 77.54 points, or 0.26 percent, to 30,123.91 points at the beginning of the trading session.
    The benchmark Standard & Poor's 500 Index rose 11.81 points, or 0.32 percent, to 3675.27 points, while the Nasdaq Composite Index jumped 69.57 points, or 0.56 percent, to 12,447.44 points. The three indicators increased their gains in early trading.
    On the other hand, European stocks rose yesterday, as the decision to extend trade talks between Britain and the European Union kept hopes of reaching an agreement, but the leading stocks in London were negatively affected by the rise of the pound and the decline of "AstraZeneca" 6.3 percent.
    The pan-European STOXX 600 index rose 0.4 percent after breaking a five-week winning streak, dropping 1 percent last week.
    The leaders of Britain and the European Union decided to extend the talks to conclude an agreement governing their joint trade of about one trillion dollars, which is not currently subject to any fees or quotas.
    The sterling rose more than 1 percent, after recent declines in fear of chaos in Britain's exit from the European Union. The currency's rise has negatively affected the London Stock Exchange, which has many export-oriented companies.
    The FTSE 100 fell 0.2 percent. And the share of "AstraZeneca" more than 6 percent. The pharmaceutical industries company said at the weekend that it would buy the American drug Alexion for $ 39 billion in a deal that is its largest ever.
    In Asia, Japanese shares closed higher yesterday, as progress in the field of Covid-19 vaccines globally led to more risk appetite, while a survey of the Bank of Japan showed improvement in corporate sentiment in December at the fastest pace in nearly two decades​.
    The Nikkei index rose 0.3 percent to 26,732.44 points, rebounding from its first weekly loss in six weeks. The broader Topix index rose 0.48 percent to 1,790.52 points, its highest closing level since October 2018.
    All but six of the 33 sector indices closed higher, and among the most profitable sectors were the shares of shipping companies and machinery linked to the economic cycle.
    The market followed the futures trading gains on US stocks amid hopes of a rapid global economic recovery with the advancement of Covid-19 vaccines and the transfer of the first shipment of the vaccine into the United States.​
    The Bank of Japan's Tankan survey provided support to market sentiment, as confidence among the largest manufacturers improved for the second consecutive quarter to -10 this month from -27 in September.
    Toyota Motor shares rose about 1.7 percent to hit the highest level since early February, supported by the launch of an upgraded hydrogen fuel cell vehicle and strong car sales in China in November.
    Nintendo shares rose 3.13 percent as the Kyoto-based gaming company continued to benefit from strict restrictions to contain the spread of the virus.​

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