Mainland Chinese stocks were up by the early morning. The Shanghai Composite was up by 0.32% to 3,468.16. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index was up about 0.84% to 29,257.75.
Japan’s benchmark Nikkei average. Nikkei 225 is trading up 0.21 per cent at 29,053.06 on Thursday, while the Australian Index S&P / ASX 200 rose 0.27 per cent to 7,084.71. South Korea’s Kospi was down by 0.03% to 3,179.91.
The FTSE MIB climbed down by 0.06% to 24,459.46 In the cash markets, the DAX futures Germany was trading 0.28% higher at 15,292.25. CAC 40 futures in France climbed up by 0.53% to 6,306.76, while the FTSE 100 futures in the U.K rose by 0.27% to 6,963.97, at the time of writing.
In the U.S. on Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 0.48% down at 33,820.38 the S&P 500 was down 0.08% to 4,183.29 and the Nasdaq 100 was down 0.28% at 14,051.03.
In the Forex market, GBPUSD rose 0.19% at 1.3958. The USDJPY was up 0.08% at 108.67. The USDCHF was up 0.04% at 0.9098. EURUSD was up 0.09% at 1.2133, EUR/GBP was down 0.07% at 0.8691, at the time of writing.
In the commodity market, U.S. Gold futures rose 0.51% at $1,782.85. Elsewhere, Silver futures rose 1.46% to $26.465 per ounce, Platinum rose 0.35% at $1,226.05 per ounce, and Palladium was up 0.65% at $2,949.50.
Brent crude oil was up 0.48% to $67.11 barrel while U.S. West Texas Intermediate (CLc1) rose 0.50% at $64.18.
In the Cryptocurrency Markets, BTCUSD is at $54,287 fell 0.54%, Ethereum at 2,727.41 up 4.32%, Litecoin at 257.670 up 1.59%, at the time of writing.
TOP STOCKS TO WATCH OUT TODAY:
Deutsche Bank up 10.86% at 11.280, Apple Inc. down 0.60% at $133.58, Amazon.com up 1.20% at $ 3,458.43, TESLA Inc down 1.47% at $694.40, SAP up 0.45% at 118.790, Microsoft down 2.83% at $254.97 , Barclays up 1.32% at 188.96.
U.S. President Joe Biden plans to unveil a sweeping $1.8 trillion package for families and education in his first joint speech to Congress on Wednesday, as he stresses the need to invest to compete with China, the White House said.
Biden will speak at 9 p.m. EDT inside the U.S. Capitol at an event scaled back this year due to the pandemic. He will use the speech to outline his priorities for the rest of his first year in office.
Biden will argue that the new package – which together with an earlier infrastructure and jobs plan totals around $4 trillion, rivaling the annual federal budget – is a once-in-a-generation investment vital to America’s future.
The U.S. president will also plead directly with lawmakers to pass legislation to curb police violence, senior administration officials say, speaking on condition of anonymity. Biden will highlight repeated police killings of African-American citizens and years of entrenched racism, while also honoring the service of the vast majority of officers.
The plan includes $1 trillion in spending on education and childcare over 10 years and $800 billion in tax credits aimed at middle- and low-income families, according to a White House fact sheet.
The spending plans “reinvest in the future of the American economy and American workers, and will help us out-compete China and other countries around the world,” it said.
Biden faces opposition to his agenda from Republicans who say he is spending too much and liberals who want him to take more aggressive steps.
Biden addressed Republican opposition in a session with TV news anchors at the White House hours before the speech.
“Everybody talks about, can I do anything bipartisan? Well, I got to figure out if there’s a party to deal with. We need a Republican Party…We need another party, whatever you call it, that’s unified — not completely splintered and fearful of one another,” he said, according to a tweet from CNN anchor Jake Tapper.
Republican lawmakers have already rejected the $2 trillion-plus infrastructure plan as too large. The Democratic president is gambling that his spending plans, which are largely popular with American voters, can sway Republicans in Congress to cooperate with the White House.
To pay for the plans, Biden has proposed an overhaul of the U.S. tax system. Wednesday’s “American Families Plan” is funded by raising the top marginal tax rate for the wealthiest Americans to 39.6% from its current 37%.
It nearly doubles the tax on investment income – known as capital gains – for Americans who earn more than $1 million. The proposed infrastructure plan is funded by corporate tax.
News of the capital gains tax proposal briefly sank stock markets last week.
The Biden administration says the tax reform plan is designed to reward work, not wealth, and “reform the tax code so that the wealthy have to play by the same rules as everyone else.”
Biden will use his speech to signal openness to bipartisan compromise on policing, speaking positively about negotiations on a reform bill in Congress.
Senator Tim Scott, the only Black Republican in the upper chamber, is set to give his party’s rebuttal to Biden’s speech, with police reform expected to be among the topics.
In addition to police reform, Biden will discuss foreign affairs, how his administration has handled the coronavirus pandemic and the status of vaccinations.
One senior congressional aide said Biden is expected to “come out hard on China,” noting frequent calls to take a harder line against Beijing from both Republicans and Democrats.
In his decades in elected office, Biden attended dozens of his predecessors’ joint addresses to Congress. The scene he faces when he takes the podium at the House of Representatives during a pandemic will look very different.
Just 200 people, mostly lawmakers plus a handful of representatives of other branches of government and family members, will attend the masked, socially distanced speech.
That is a far cry from the 1,600 officials, friends and guests who typically gather for such a presidential speech.
The nationally televised address, however, targets an audience far beyond the reduced-sized crowd on Capitol Hill. About 48 million people watched Biden predecessor Donald Trump’s first address to a joint session in 2017.
Republican Senator Mitch McConnell, the Senate minority leader, said ahead of the speech that Biden has not followed through on his promises of seeking unity and has tried to placate liberals instead.
“Over a few short months, the Biden administration seems to have given up on selling actual unity in favor of catnip for their liberal base, covered with a hefty coat of false advertising,” McConnell said.
The European Parliament has overwhelmingly backed the post-Brexit trade deal between Britain and the European Union, clearing the last hurdle towards its ratification, while expressing clear mistrust of the British government.
EU lawmakers cleared the trade and cooperation agreement (TCA) by 660 votes to five, with 32 abstentions, the parliament announced on Wednesday, a day after the vote.
Parliament’s consent brings to an end over four years of acrimonious negotiations and debate as Britain ended 47 years of EU membership, but mistrust lingers.
European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen said she warmly welcomed the vote.
“The TCA marks the foundation of a strong and close partnership with the UK. Faithful implementation is essential,” she said in a tweet.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said this week was the final step in a long journey, providing stability to Britain’s new relationship with the EU.
“Now is the time to look forward to the future and to building a more global Britain,” he said in a statement.
The lawmakers also voted massively in favour of an accompanying resolution in which they describe Brexit as a “historic mistake”.
The text talked of the trade deal’s limited scope, with opportunities for Britain’s largely service-based economy “vastly reduced”.
Lawmakers condemned Britain’s unilateral change in trading arrangements in Northern Ireland and urged the Commission to press on with its legal action.
They also warned the European Union to be vigilant about British action on taxation, money-laundering and access for EU fishing boats to its waters.
Britain left the EU at the end of January 2020, but remained in the EU single market until the start of 2021. The deal struck in December ensures zero tariffs and quotas, but adds new checks and paperwork that hinder trade.
British exports to the EU fell by 47% in January-February and imports by 20%, far more than the declines for any other EU trading partner.
EU lawmakers see the trade deal, including potential sanctions such as closing market access, as a tool to keep Britain in check.
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