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A positive start to the week for equity indices; most Asia-Pac bourses are in the green and US/European futures have taken the hint with major bourses in the green.

  • The early uptick in e-minis/Asia-Pac equities is being linked to weekend comments from US Senator Bernie Sanders (who will chair the Senate Budget Committee). Sanders noted that the Democrats will push through the Covid-19 relief package via the reconciliation approach (simple majority vote, with VP Harris casting the deciding vote in the case of a tie), if required. This stance is broadly in line with expectations, while President Biden has indicated his preference for bipartisan agreement re: the matter we have stressed that the Democrats would likely use reconciliation measures to push through this leg of fiscal support, and as such, only rely on the backing of all of the party's own Senators.
  • Elsewhere, news that Hong Kong's partial lockdown (covering some of the district of Kowloon) only unearthed 13 positive Covid cases and has now been relaxed, as scheduled, supported the Hang Seng which gained over 2%. The KOSPI also saw strong gains, supported by
  • NASDAQ 100 futures have tagged fresh all-time highs ahead of this week's earnings slate, which include quarterly results from Apple, Microsoft & Facebook