Tue, 26 Jan 2021

SYDNEY, NSW, Australia - Stocks in Asia took a breather on Wednesday, with moves in either direction unremarkable.

Markets globally have advanced this week on the back of optimism about a Covid-19 vaccine, and renewed talks in the Congress about a new U.S. stimulus package.

"We've had some positive leads, and a combination of optimism around the vaccine, and government and central bank stimulus remains in place," Michael McCarthy, chief markets strategist at CMC Markets told Reuters Thomson Wednesday. "It's a sweet spot for markets."

In Japan the Nikkei 225 rose 13.44 points or 0.05 percent to 26,800.98.

The Australian All Ordinaries was flat, dipping 0.90 of a point or 0.01 percent to 6,811.30.

China's Shanghai Composite edged down 2.36 points or 0.07 percent to 3,449.38.

The Hang Seng in Hong Kong dropped 35.10 points or 0.13 percent to 26,532.58.

The euro soared against the U.S. dollar sending the sliding greenback down to 1.2072 by the Sydney close. The British pound jumped to 1.3421. The Swiss franc rallied to 0.9003.

The Japanese yen was little changed at 104.50, as was the Canadian dollar at 1.2931. The Australian dollar edged down to 0.7375. The New Zealand dollar was little changed at 0.7073.

Overnight on Wall Street, technology stocks led the charge with the Nasdaq Composite adding 156.37 points or 1.28 percent to 12,355.11.

The Standard and Poor's 500 advanced 40.82 points or 1.13 percent to 3,662.45.

The Dow Jones index rose 185.28 points or 0.63 percent to 29,823.92.

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