The ASX is set to inch higher on Friday and is on track to end its first week of trade for 2021 in positive territory.

At 6:30am AEST, futures in the benchmark are up (0.3 per cent) to 6,660.

The ASX 200 closed 1.8 per cent higher on Thursday on news that the US Congress was going to be under Democratic control and that the Australian Government will vaccinate people for COVID-19 earlier than expected.

The European and US stock markets are both in the green on Thursday (local time) trade despite the turmoil in the US Capitol.

The Nasdaq was slipping on the news yesterday that Democrats would control the Congress, given its threats of more regulation of Silicon Valley.

However, the Nasdaq is in positive territory during Thursday trade (+2.4pc) with a boost from Tesla’s shares.

Shares of the electric car maker surged to a record high with its stock market value briefly exceeding Facebook’s for the first time.

The stock for the company led by Elon Musk briefly hit US$811.61 during the session, putting its market capitalisation at US$769 billion ($991.3 billion)

The stock has since slipped slightly off that high, bringing it back down to under Facebook’s value.

The stock is up more than 700 per cent in the past 12 months.

That makes the California car maker the most valuable auto company in the world, by far, despite production that is a fraction of rivals such as Toyota, Volkswagen and General Motors.

Meanwhile, Bloomberg News has also published a story that claims Musk has now become the world’s richest man, overtaking the founder of Amazon, Jeff Bezos.

Including Thursday’s gains in Tesla shares, Musk had a net worth of more than US$188.5 billion, which is US$1.5 billion more than Bezos, the report claimed.

The Forbes Billionaires List, however, said Musk still trails Amazon’s Bezos by $7.8 billion.

Meanwhile, the New York Stock Exchange said on Wednesday it will delist three Chinese telecom companies, confirming its latest U-turn on the matter.

Last week, it announced it would delist the shares of China Mobile, China Telecom and China Unicorn amid a potential US crackdown on firms said to be linked to China’s military.

Then, again, earlier this week, it announced it will no longer delist them.

Now it has flipped on the subject, again.

That makes the latest move the third time in less than a week the Big Board has ruled on the issue.

The flip-flopping highlights the confusion over which companies were included in an executive order issued by outgoing President Donald Trump in November barring US persons from investing in publicly traded companies Washington deems to be tied to the Chinese military.

It also coincides with escalating tensions within Washington on China policy in the final days of the Trump administration.



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