Euro Dips With Pound; Stocks Mixed in Thin Trading: Markets Wrap
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(Bloomberg) — Thin trading was the biggest feature of global markets Tuesday, with stocks in emerging nations mixed and the dollar lacking direction as many countries remained on holiday. The euro declined, gold rose, and U.S. Treasuries edged downward.
S&P 500 futures were flat as those for the Dow Jones fell, but equities were shut across the major European exchanges, as well as in parts of Asia including Hong Kong and Australia. Japanese benchmarks dropped from the highest levels since the early 1990s, helping to pull the MSCI Asia Pacific Index down. Shares in Dubai, Qatar and Russia were among the big losers in emerging markets. The pound and some Eastern European currencies weakened alongside the euro, and the Brazilian real and South African rand were among gainers. Gold extended its recent advance as silver also jumped.
Traders are finding little to get excited about as the stellar year for risk assets crawls to its end, with the possible exception of the cryptocurrency roller coaster. They may be opting to enjoy the relative calm — tensions are simmering between the U.S. and Russia, Italy’s parliament is set to be dissolved for a risky European election, and big decisions on the American debt ceiling were merely kicked down the road. That’s all set up a potentially eventful 2018.
Elsewhere on Tuesday, West Texas oil held above $58 a barrel as trading resumed following the Christmas holiday and after U.S. explorers refrained from adding rigs for a second week. Bitcoin rallied as the biggest cryptocurrency attempted to shrug off a miserable five-day run.
Terminal users can read more on bitcoin in Mohamed El-Erian’s Bloomberg View.
Among the events in focus for investors this week:
- U.S. consumer confidence, home prices and trade data are on the schedule despite the holiday-shortened week.
- Italy’s parliament is expected to be dissolved ahead of elections in 2018.
- Rate decisions this week include Argentina and Egypt.
And these are the main moves in markets:
- The MSCI All-Country World Index dipped less than 0.05 percent as of 8:52 a.m. New York time.
- The MSCI Emerging Market Index fell 0.1 percent, the biggest fall in more than a week.
- Futures on the S&P 500 Index was unchanged.
- The MSCI Asia Pacific Index fell 0.2 percent to 172.36, the biggest fall in more than a week.
- The euro declined 0.1 percent to $1.1854, the weakest in a week on the biggest fall in more than a week.
- The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index decreased less than 0.05 percent.
- The British pound declined 0.2 percent to $1.3349, the weakest in more than a week.
- South Africa’s rand jumped 0.6 percent to 12.5423 per dollar, the strongest in nine months.
- The Russian ruble rose 0.5 percent to 57.7219 per dollar, hitting the strongest in two months with its eighth consecutive advance.
- The yield on 10-year Treasuries climbed less than one basis point to 2.48 percent.
- Gold increased 0.4 percent to $1,280.93 an ounce, hitting the highest in almost four weeks with its fifth consecutive advance.
- West Texas Intermediate crude climbed 0.2 percent to $58.60 a barrel, reaching the highest in more than a month on its fifth consecutive advance.
- Silver gained 1.2 percent to $16.51 per ounce, the highest in almost four weeks.
–With assistance from Christopher Anstey
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