Global markets continued their levitation with the UK returning from vacation, pushing the MSCI Asia Pacific Index higher for the first time in seven days, while oil headed for the longest winning streak in almost seven years ahead of the promised OPEC production cut which is set to begin in just days. The USDJPY rose for a second day, pushing US equity futures higher and the DJIA is once again teasing with the 20,000 mark, although a race of sorts has emerged between the Dow and bitcoin, as to who can cross key psychological levels first: the Dow and 20,000 or Bitcoin and 1,000.
Despite the full reopening of global markets, trading remains thin across the globe during the last week of the year, with volume on the Topix about 45% below the 30-day average on Wednesday. European equities fluctuated and Hong Kong stocks rose the most in a month after being closed Monday and Tuesday. More than twice as many shares on Japan’s Topix index rose than declined, even though the Nikkei225 ultimately closed fractionally lower at 19,402. Australian stocks rode a rise in commodities to gain 1 percent. Indonesian shares added 1.9 percent while Shanghai shed 0.3 percent.
Crude climbed for an eighth session before OPEC and other producing nations start reducing output. The yen fell the most among major currencies against the dollar.
"Until data starts to turn negative or the headlines suggest that (U.S. president-elect) Trump's stimulus programme could fall short of expectations, the dips in the dollar will be shallow with the currency aiming for new highs," wrote Kathy Lien, managing director of FX strategy for BK Asset Management. "But at the first sign of bad news there could be massive correction in what is quickly becoming a crowded long dollar trade," Lien added.
The dollar index was steady at 102.930, while the Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index was also little changed, trading near the highest level in more than a decade. The euro inched up 0.2 percent to $1.0474 and sterling dropped again, sliding to a 2 month low of 1.2224.
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