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Investors have been monitoring the status of a $ 900 billion Covid-19 relief bill, which has been passed by both houses of Congress. President Donald Trump signed a $ 900 billion Covid-19 relief bill, avoiding government shutdown and extending unemployment benefits to millions of Americans. Meanwhile, averages posted stable returns last week. The S&P 500 fell 0.2% last week, the Dow Jones recorded a slight gain of 0.1%. However, futures were flat in Sunday night trading. Dow futures rose 106 points, S&P 500 futures gained 0.1%, and Nasdaq 100 futures traded 0.2% higher.
Stocks in Asia edged up Monday morning. Chinese industrial company profits in November rose 15.5% year-on-year. The Nikkei 225 gained 0.32%. The Topix index rose 0.27%. The South Korean Kospi rose 0.86%. Markets in Australia and New Zealand are closed on Mondays for a public holiday. Chinese regulators have ordered Alibaba Ant Group to rectify its activities.
European markets closed mixed last week. Britain and the EU are said to be close to concluding a post-Brexit trade deal. The UK FTSE 100 closed 0.1% higher after a choppy session. British bank stocks were among the best performers. The CAC of France lost almost 0.1%. The Spanish IBEX market ended the day up 0.5%. The German and Italian markets were closed for Christmas Eve.
Oil prices rose Thursday. WTI crude gained 11 cents, or 0.23%, to trade at $ 48.23 a barrel. Brent futures were up 10 cents, or 0.2%, to $ 51.30 a barrel. Volumes were low on the last trading day before the Christmas holidays.
The price of gold edged up on Thursday in informed holiday trading, while gold in silver rose 0.3% to $ 1,877.41 an ounce. U.S. gold futures rose 0.2% to $ 1,882.10