The bulls are firmly in control as the global markets open for 2021

This is the web version of the Bull Sheet, Fortune’s no-BS daily newsletter on the markets. Sign up to receive it in your inbox here.

Good morning and Happy New Year, Bull Sheeters.

Global stocks are hitting record highs again today on what is the first trading day of the year for much of the world. That’s despite a surge in new COVID infections and worries that the global immunization effort is off to a slow start.

The big investment story to start the year is Bitcoin. The cryptocurrency is edging down this morning, but it’s been hitting new records daily as institutional investors pile in, pushing its market cap to more than a half-trillion dollars and triggering a tsunami of tweets from crypto bulls crowing about their crypto net worth.

Let’s check in on what’s moving the markets.

Markets update


  • The major Asia indexes are mostly higher
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South Korean-flagged tanker seized by Iran, Seoul demands release By Reuters

© Reuters. A South Korean-flagged tanker vessel which was seized by Iran. is seen in Gulf


By Parisa Hafezi and Hyonhee Shin

DUBAI/SEOUL (Reuters) -Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Corps seized a South Korean-flagged tanker in Gulf waters, Iranian media said on Monday, at a time of tension between Tehran and Seoul over Iranian funds frozen at South Korean banks due to U.S. sanctions.

Seoul confirmed the seizure of a South Korean chemical tanker by Iranian authorities in the waters off Oman, and demanded its immediate release.

Several Iranian media outlets, including Iranian state TV, said the Guards navy captured the vessel for polluting the Gulf with chemicals. The semi-official Tasnim news agency published pictures showing what it identified as Guards speed boats escorting the tanker HANKUK CHEMI, which it said was carrying 7,200 tonnes of ethanol.

It said the vessel’s crew members had been detained and included nationals of

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