Pound hits 33-month high over $1.39 as Covid vaccine optimism lifts markets – business live

Rolling coverage of the latest economic and financial news

8.18am GMT

The oil price has climbed to its highest level in over a year, lifted by economic recovery hopes and new tensions in the Middle East.

Brent crude is up 1.4% at $63.29 per barrel, while US crude is over $60/barrel, their highest levels since January 2020.

WTI Crude Oil off to a flyer in early Globex trading. Rising almost 1% to over $60, its highest level since early January 2020.

Hopes of increased demand in the coming months along with controlled supply has been positive for an oil price which has risen by 22% in the year to date, and which has seen a further small spike following some concerns around fresh tensions in the Middle East.

8.02am GMT

Japan’s Nikkei stock index has surged to a 30-year high, lifted by better-than-expected growth figures overnight….and Covid-19 vaccine hopes.

Japan is expected to start coronavirus vaccinations this week, which is also supporting stock prices. However, Japanese stocks have rallied 8% so far this month, and some analysts warn that the market may be overheating.

“Stocks have risen so fast you could say they’ve broken the speed limit,” said Ayako Sera, market strategist at Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Bank.

Japan’s main #StockMarket, the #NIKKEI, has closed above the 30,000 mark for the first time in more than three decades.

After reaching nearly 39,000 in 1989, the Nikkei lost more than half its value during a period of Japanese economic stagnation known as the ‘lost decade’.

Just to put things into perspective: Japan’s Nikkei has crossed the 30k mark for the first time since 1990, but compared to the Dow Jones, the performance looks scary. The Dow was at 2500 points in 1990 and is higher now than the Nikkei today.

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