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Stocks rise into year-end on 2021 recovery hopes


LONDON (#Reuters) -Wall #Street was set to open higher and world stocks edged towards recent record highs on #Wednesday, with investor hopes of a strong economic recovery next year also pushing the safe-haven dollar to its lowest since #April 2018.

FILE PHOTO: The #German share price index DAX graph is pictured at the stock exchange in #Frankfurt, #Germany, #December 28, 2020. REUTERS/Staff

#Europe’s main markets were heading for a sixth straight session of gains as #AstraZeneca and #Oxford #University’s coronavirus vaccine became the second to be approved by #Britain, helping the FTSE 100 add 0.1%, though it stuck below the previous day’s nine-month highs.

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S&P 500 futures rose 0.34% after U.S. stocks had retreated from an intraday record high on #Tuesday.

#Conviction that global monetary authorities will continue to pump liquidity into the banking system has been underpinning riskier assets in recent weeks.

“Familiar themes are still in play,” said #Ned #Rumpeltin #European head of currency strategy at TD #Securities. “Today is a day very much of where we’ve been is where we are.”

The U.S. #Senate was due on #Wednesday to hold a procedural vote that could pave the way for #Congress to override U.S. #President #Donald #Trump’s veto of a key defense bill.

#Also on #Wednesday, the #Chicago #Purchasing #Managers’ #Index data for #December at 1445 GMT is forecast to give a reading of 57, according to a #Reuters poll, against last month’s 58.2.

A new, more transmittable variant of the virus is spreading rapidly, including to the #United #States, but #European #Union countries have also begun rolling out #Pfizer and #BioNTech’s vaccine this week.

“The prospect of more rapid and widespread inoculation will be a shot of confidence to markets as the COVID-19 struggle intensifies,” said #Janet #Mui, investment director at wealth manager #Brewin #Dolphin.

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MSCI’s world stocks index rose 0.25% to within touching distance of the record highs it had set on #Tuesday.

The index is up 14% this year and nearly 70% from its #March lows, boosted by trillions of dollars in global economic stimulus and expectations that coronavirus vaccines will re-open locked-down economies.

TRADE DEAL

#Away from the virus worries, #British lawmakers were set to vote on the UK-EU trade deal later on #Wednesday, a day before a #Brexit transition arrangement expires.

MSCI’s gauge of #Asia-Pacific shares excluding #Japan rose 1.4% to a record high, led by gains in #Chinese shares and bringing its gains this year to 19%.

#Japan’s #Nikkei share average lost 0.45%, however, on its last trading day of 2020 after jumping to a 30-year high on #Tuesday. [.T]

#In currency markets, the dollar’s weakness continued. #It dropped again on #Wednesday, the first day where settlement of trades will be in 2021.

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The U.S. dollar index fell 0.3% to its lowest since #April 2018. The euro reached its highest since #April 2018 at close to $1.23.

The #Australian dollar rose 0.9% to $0.7673, a two-and-a-half-year high. #Sterling rose 0.8% above $1.36.

#Bitcoin jumped to a record $28,599.99, after the digital currency almost quadrupled in value this year amid heightened interest from bigger investors.

#German 10-year bond yields [DE10YT=RR] – which move inversely to price – ticked up to -0.56%.

#Oil gained ground as the dollar weakened, U.S. crude oil inventories declined and #Britain approved a second coronavirus vaccine, though it was set to end the year about 20% lower. [O/R]

U.S. #West #Texas #Intermediate crude futures were up 0.94% at $48.45 a barrel [O/R]. #Gold was steady at $1,878 an ounce. [GOL/]



[ source link ]
https://www.reuters.com/article/global-markets-int/asian-shares-pause-recent-rally-euro-near-2-1-2-year-high-idUSKBN294012

##Stocks #rise #yearend #recovery #hopes

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