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GLOBAL MARKETS-Asian shares hover near record high, risk currencies in favor


NEW YORK, #Dec 30 (#Reuters) – #Asian shares are set to end a tumultuous 2020 by hovering near record highs on #Thursday while riskier currencies cruised near 2-1/2-year peaks, buoyed by hopes that COVID-19 vaccine rollouts will help the world beat the pandemic.

The upbeat mood, reflected in overnight gains on #Wall #Street, drubbed the “safe-haven” dollar and drove currencies such as the euro, sterling, the #Australian dollar and the #New #Zealand dollar overnight to highs not seen in more than 2-1/2 years.

E-Mini S&P futures rose 0.11% to 3,728.5, while MSCI’s gauge of #Asia-Pacific shares excluding #Japan was little changed at 661.76, a hair’s breath from its record high of 661.80.

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#For the year, the MSCI index is up nearly 20%, outpacing a 15.5% gain in the U.S. S&P 500.

#Australian shares lost 0.23% while the #Japanese stock market is shut on #Thursday.

#Investors looking forward to a brighter 2021 will be eyeing #China’s official manufacturing #Purchasing #Manager’s #Index for #December, due on #Thursday at 0100 GMT.

#Analysts expect the index to show #China’s factory sector growing at a solid pace in #December as the world’s second-largest economy steadily rebounds from the coronavirus crisis.

#Still, some analysts warned that this year’s heady gains in global stock markets could mean a lot less room for further appreciation in 2021.

“We’d say 80% of all the baseline good news expected in 2021 is already incorporated,” analysts at #DataTrek #Research said in a note, adding that some “real surprises” would be needed next year for the U.S. stock market to rise another 10%.

#For now, however, healthy risk appetites kept investors from the U.S. dollar.

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The struggling dollar dropped 0.46% to 89.59 against a basket of currencies, plumbing a low not seen since #April 2018.

A listless dollar helped the euro stand firm at a 32-month high of $1.2298. #Sterling was also steady $1.3611, a level last seen in #May 2018. The #Australian dollar and #New #Zealand dollar also held their ground at their respective 32-month highs of $0.7665 and $0.7215.

A battered dollar also supported gold, with bullion prices up a touch at $1,894.225 an ounce.

#Oil prices bucked the trend, however, retreating a shade as swelling year-over-year supply led some traders to view any economic recovery ahead to be gradual rather than swift.

U.S. #West #Texas #Intermediate crude shed 0.02% to trade at $48.39, far below about $62 at the start of 2020.

#Treasuries were little changed, with benchmark U.S. 10-year yields at 0.9264% and two-year yields at 0.1250%.

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#Reporting by #Koh #Gui #Qing; #Editing by #Richard #Chang



[ source link ]
https://www.reuters.com/article/global-markets/global-markets-asian-shares-hover-near-record-high-risk-currencies-in-favor-idUSL4N2JA2KQ

#GLOBAL #MARKETSAsian #shares #hover #record #high #risk #currencies #favor

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