Asian Stocks digest meaty gains, oil and currency
Asian stocks snoozed near 18-month highs on Friday as trade thinned in the run-up to Christmas and investors seemed content to digest the chunky gains already made so far this month.
- In early trading, the pan-region Euro Stoxx 50 futures (STXEc1) were up 0.3%.
- German DAX futures (FDXc1) 0.1%.
- FTSE futures (FFIc1) were a shade weaker.
- E-Mini futures for the S&P 500 (ESc1) were at all-time highs, having risen 1.2% in the week.
- MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan (MIAPJ0000PUS) were steady after rising 1.2% so far this week and almost 5% this month.
- Japan’s Nikkei (N225) reversed early gains after reaching a 14-month high earlier in the week. It was ahead by 2.5% for the month so far.
- Chinese shares were slightly stronger with the blue-chip CSI300 up 0.2%.
- Other currency pairs were little changed on the week with the euro stuck at $1.1116 having found support around $1.1100.
- The dollar idled at 109.31 yen, having spent the entire week in a tight 10917/109.67 range.
- Against a basket of currencies, the dollar had edged up 0.3% for the week to 97.438 thanks mainly to the steep drop in sterling.
- Spot gold was flat at $1,479.40 per ounce and up just a fraction for the week so far.
- U.S. crude eased 5 cents to $61.13 a barrel, while Brent crude futures inched up 8 cents to $66.62.