Investors upbeat on stimulus news

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    TOKYO- Global stock prices inched higher while US bond yields hovered near a 13-month peak on Monday as investors bet US economic growth will accelerate after the $1.9 trillion stimulus bill President Joe Biden signed into law last week.

    A rollout of COVID-19 vaccinations in the United States and some other countries stoked a bullish mood on risk assets even as investors become wary of key central bank policy meets later in the week, including the US Federal Reserve’s.

    “The US is now vaccinating more three million people a day, with President Biden now saying all adults will be able to get a shot by May 1. It could soon achieve a herd immunity and an economic normalisation,” said Norihiro Fujito, chief investment strategist at Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley Securities.

    US S&P500 futures rose 0.2 percent in early Asian trade, trading just below a record high level touched last week, while Japan’s Nikkei ticked up 0.3 percent.

    Mainland Chinese shares buckled the trend to trade lower despite data showing a quickening in industrial output and a rise in retail sales.

    MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan rose 0.2 percent, with Hong Kong leading the gains.

    “Most market participants and policy-makers have been surprised by the speed of the recovery. On our estimates, the US economy will reach pre-COVID-19 output levels by the current quarter,” said Chetan Ahya, global head of economics at Morgan Stanley in New York, in a note.