U.S. stocks rose to record highs, Treasuries tumbled and the dollar weakened against all of its G-10 peers in the first official day of trading in 2018.
Technology shares led the rally and analyst upgrades fueled gains in consumer-discretionary companies. The NASDAQ 100 Index climbed 1.8 percent, the biggest gain since Oct. 27. The NASDAQ Composite closed above 7,000 for the first time, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index also finished at an all-time high. European stocks started the year in the red, failing to capitalize on a positive Asian session as the strength of the region’s common currency weighed on exporters.
European bonds dropped and the euro strengthened to near a three-year high against the dollar as the region’s manufacturing activity expanded in line with estimates in December. The Bloomberg Dollar Index hit a three-month low, helping propel gold to the highest since September. West Texas oil fluctuated as Iran said protests in the country will fade in days. Bitcoin recovered from Monday’s losses.
“The backdrop for the dollar is just not very good,” said Mark McCormick, head of FX strategy for North America for Toronto Dominion Bank. “The global reflation trade is progressing along and the backdrop is that we’re rotating into a regime shift and that comes with a changing backdrop for capital flows.”
The Stoxx Europe 600 Index dropped, with consumer staples leading the decline as a majority of industry sectors ended lower. In Asia, the MSCI Asia Pacific Index climbed to a record, though markets in Tokyo remain closed until Thursday for Japanese holidays. Chinese equities led gains as property shares soared and a gauge of the nation’s manufacturing strength beat expectations.
Investors begin 2018 on the heels of a winning year for equities and a losing one for the greenback. Global stocks last year posted their best performance since 2009, fueled by a synchronous expansion and a go-slow approach toward monetary-stimulus withdrawal in major economies.
Here are the main events to watch for this week:
- MiFID II, the biggest change to European investment industry rules in a decade, takes effect Wednesday.
- FOMC December meeting minutes also expected Wednesday.
- U.S. non-farm payrolls due Friday.
Terminal users can read more in our markets blog.
These are the main moves in markets:
- The S&P 500 Index climbed 0.8 percent to 2,695.79 as of 4:11 p.m. in New York, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.4 percent to 24,824.01 and the NASDAQ Composite Index rose 1.5 percent to 7,006.898.
- The Stoxx Europe 600 Index dipped 0.2 percent, after reaching the lowest in almost four weeks.
- The U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index declined 0.5 percent.
- Germany’s DAX Index fell 0.4 percent, after touching the lowest in almost 14 weeks.
- The MSCI Asia Pacific Index jumped 1 percent to the highest on record.
- The MSCI Emerging Market Index jumped 1.8 percent to the highest in almost seven years.
- The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index declined 0.5 percent to 1,153.42, after touching the lowest in 14 weeks.
- The euro increased 0.4 percent to the strongest in about three years.
- The British pound climbed 0.7 percent to $1.3597, the strongest in almost 15 weeks.
- The Japanese yen advanced 0.3 percent to 112.26 per dollar, the strongest in almost five weeks.
- The yield on 10-year Treasuries increased five basis points to 2.46 percent.
- Germany’s 10-year yield rose four basis points to 0.46 percent, the highest in almost 10 weeks.
- Britain’s 10-year yield advanced 10 basis points to 1.29 percent, the highest in about a month.
- West Texas Intermediate crude was little changed at $60.37 a barrel.
- Gold gained 1.2 percent to $1,317.69 an ounce, the highest in more than 15 weeks.
- Copper dipped 0.6 percent to $3.28 a pound.
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