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(Bloomberg) -- European stocks gained the most in more than two weeks and U.S. futures pointed to a higher open on signs the global economic expansion that pushed benchmarks to records in 2017 remains intact. The dollar slipped and U.S. Treasuries extended declines made as minutes of last month’s Federal Reserve meeting showed policy makers continue to back a “gradual approach” to raising interest rates.
Builders and carmakers led the advance in Europe, with most of the sectors in the Stoxx Europe 600 Index showing green. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index hit a record after benchmarks in Tokyo closed at their highest in more than a quarter century. Core European bonds pared Wednesday’s gains and the euro advanced toward a three-year high as data showed economic activity in the region accelerated to the fastest pace in almost seven years.
Meanwhile, commodities steadied after a record run of gains with oil trading close to its highest in three years. South Africa’s rand led an advance in emerging-market currencies.
Investor sentiment in the first week of the New Year has been buoyed by bullish economic data from the U.S., to Europe to China. As a result, many stocks and commodities have extended gains from 2017, and bond yields have begun to tick higher. In the U.S., companies added more workers to payrolls than expected in December, data from the ADP Research Institute showed Thursday.
Terminal users can read more in our markets blog.
Here are highlights of key events investors will be monitoring the rest of the week:
- The U.S. session features St. Louis Fed President James Bullard delivering a keynote address in Philadelphia
- U.S. December employment data are due on Friday.
- India releases an estimate for 2018 economic growth Friday.
These are the main moves in markets:
- The Stoxx Europe 600 Index gained 0.7 percent as of 8:30 p.m. New York time, the highest in eight weeks on the biggest rise in more than two weeks.
- The MSCI All-Country World Index advanced 0.5 percent to the highest on record.
- The U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index increased 0.2 percent.
- Futures on the S&P 500 Index gained 0.3 percent to the highest on record.
- The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index dipped 0.1 percent.
- The euro advanced 0.4 percent to $1.2066, the strongest in about three years.
- The British pound gained 0.2 percent to $1.3544.
- The yield on 10-year Treasuries advanced three basis points to 2.48 percent, the highest in more than a week.
- Germany’s 10-year yield increased two basis points to 0.46 percent.
- Britain’s 10-year yield advanced three basis points to 1.213 percent.
- The Bloomberg Commodity Index increased 0.1 percent, its 15th straight advance.
- West Texas Intermediate crude advanced 0.2 percent to $61.78 a barrel, the highest in more than two years.
- LME copper advanced 1.2 percent to $7,232.50 per metric ton, the first advance in a week and the largest gain in more than a week.
- Gold gained 0.2 percent to $1,315.44 an ounce.
--With assistance from Kailey Leinz Mark Burton Christopher Anstey and Cecile Gutscher
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