THE ringgit rose to 3.9970 vs US dollar, the first time since June 2018 in late morning trade on Monday as the greenback slipped.

Bloomberg reported the dollar fell against all its Group-of-10 peers amid optimism about a global growth recovery. The offshore yuan strengthened to the highest since mid-2018.

The yen climbed 0.2% to 103.01 per dollar.The offshore yuan rose 0.8% to 6.4543 per dollar.The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index fell 0.3%.The euro climbed 0.3% to $1.2253.The British pound advanced 0.2% to $1.3693.

A gauge of global stocks headed toward a record Monday as the rollout of vaccines and stimulus support eased concerns about the escalating pandemic. Gold and Treasury yields climbed.

Shares jumped in South Korea and Australia, but underperformed in Japan after Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said he’s considering declaring a state of emergency for the Tokyo area to stem a surge in virus infections. S&P 500 futures fluctuated after the benchmark closed at an all-time high on Dec. 31. Gold climbed to the highest level in almost two months.

Equity indexes in China and Hong Kong edged higher, shrugging off the New York Stock Exchange’s move to delist China’s three biggest telecommunication companies. The firms themselves, China Mobile Ltd., China Telecom Corp. and China Unicom Hong Kong Ltd., all slid.

Equities are beginning the new year at rich valuations amid expectations that widespread vaccine distribution in 2021, central bank support and government aid will reignite economic growth and boost corporate profits. An MSCI index of world stocks ended at a record in 2020 after rising 14% last year.

“Covid cases and vaccine distribution will remain the key focus for investors for now, ” said Kerry Craig, global market strategist at JPMorgan Asset Management.

“Without the wide distribution of vaccines, the paths of Covid and the economy are locked together, given the impact on social mobility and economic curtailment. This link will be broken as immunity levels rise into the middle of the year, but until then the economic path will be bumpy over the first quarter.”

Oil exceeded $49 a barrel. OPEC+ will decide on Monday whether it can continue to restore crude supplies without capsizing the price recovery. Elsewhere, Bitcoin held onto much of its weekend gains after topping $34,000 for the first time on Sunday.

On the coronavirus front, global infections climbed above 85 million, after U.S. daily cases soared to a record of nearly 300,000 after the New Year holiday. The U.K. is poised to give the first shots of AstraZeneca’s vaccine on Monday, in a race against a faster-spreading variant that’s prompted new lockdowns across much of the country.

What to watch this week:

OPEC+ alliance energy ministers hold their monthly virtual gathering Monday to decide whether to add as much as 500,000 barrels a day to production.In the U.S. Tuesday, the state of Georgia holds a run-off election for two U.S. Senate seats that will decide control of the chamber.

U.S. Congress meets to count electoral votes and declare the winner of the 2020 Presidential election Wednesday.FOMC minutes out Wednesday.U.S. unemployment report for December is due Friday.These are the main moves in markets:


S&P 500 futures were little changed as of 12:36 p.m. in Tokyo. The S&P 500 Index advanced 0.6% Thursday.Japan’s Topix index declined 0.8%.Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 rose 1.3%.Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index added 0.5%.South Korea’s Kospi index jumped 2.1%.Shanghai Composite Index rose 0.5%.Currencies


The yield on 10-year Treasuries rose three basis points to 0.94%.Australia’s 10-year bond yield rose two basis points to 1.03%.Commodities

West Texas Intermediate crude added 1.2% to $49.11 a barrel.Gold rose 1.2% to $1,921.53 an ounce. – Bloomberg