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

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

Reuters  | Dec 31, 2020 08:50

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 ESc1 rose 0.11% to 3,728.5, while
MSCI's gauge of Asia-Pacific shares excluding Japan
.MIAPJ0000PUS was little changed at 661.76, a hair's breath
from its record high of 661.80.
For the year, the MSCI index is up nearly 20%, outpacing a
15.5% gain in the U.S. S&P 500 .SPX . .N
Australian shares .AXJO 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.
The struggling dollar dropped 0.46% to 89.59 against a
basket of currencies =USD , plumbing a low not seen since April
2018.
A listless dollar helped the euro EUR=EBS stand firm at a
32-month high of $1.2298. Sterling GBP=D3 was also steady
$1.3611, a level last seen in May 2018. The Australian dollar
AUD=D3 and New Zealand dollar NZD=D3 also held their ground
at their respective 32-month highs of $0.7665 and $0.7215.
A battered dollar also supported gold XAU= , with bullion
prices up a touch at $1,894.225 an ounce. GOL/
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 CLc1 shed 0.02% to
trade at $48.39, far below about $62 at the start of 2020. O/R
Treasuries were little changed, with benchmark U.S. 10-year
yields 10YT=RR at 0.9264% and two-year yields US2YT=RR at
0.1250%.


<^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
Global assets http://tmsnrt.rs/2jvdmXl
Global currencies vs. dollar http://tmsnrt.rs/2egbfVh
Emerging markets http://tmsnrt.rs/2ihRugV
MSCI All Country Wolrd Index Market Cap http://tmsnrt.rs/2EmTD6j
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^>

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