Global shares stall near-record high as trading dwindles before the Christmas holiday.

By: Andia Rispah
Andia Rispah
Andia Rispah is a Personal Finance & Investment Writer who helps Financial Advisors to create valuable content to help… read more.
on Dec 23, 2019
  • Global stocks stalled near a record high, and currency markets remained the same as trading dwindles the year draws to close.
  • All three major U.S. indexes - the S&P 500, Nasdaq, and Dow - gained.
  • The U.S consumer spending was stronger than previously reported, and there were upgrades to business spending.

On Monday, global stocks stalled near a record high, and currency markets remained the same as trading dwindles the year draws to close. 

Investors also took profit on gains made this month.

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The pan-European STOXX 600 index dropped 0.14% by 0851 GMT, after coming close to a record high in the previous session.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was near its highest since June 2018, up 0.05%.

The MSCI all-country stock index was flat, just below Friday’s record high. 

It has risen nearly 3% this month as U.S.-China trade tensions eased and confidence grew that Britain would avoid a chaotic exit from the European Union. 

The index is up 23% so far in 2019, set for its best year since 2009.

On Saturday, the U.S. President said the U.S. and China would “very shortly” sign phase one a trade agreement. 

The agreement calls for the U.S. to reduce tariffs in exchange for China’s buying more American farm produce.

On Monday, China also said it would lower its tariffs on products ranging from the frozen port, avocado, and some types of tech products next year.

The Phase One agreement and U.K. elections have cleared up tail risks, but the market is now transcending that euphoria,” said Stephen Innes, strategist at AxiTrader.

While Phase One is already reflected in stock prices, positioning is still relatively light, and with plenty of capital yet to be deployed, markets could even push significantly higher supported by the global growth rebound,” he added.

On Friday, the U.S. benchmark S&P 500 extended its record highs to seven straight sessions, its longest streak in more than two years. 

All three major U.S. indexes – the S&P 500, Nasdaq, and Dow – gained.

Economic data

Data on Friday showed U.S. growth rose in the third quarter, and the economy was probably maintained its expansion as the year ended. 

Consumer spending was stronger than previously reported, and there were upgrades to business spending.

During Asian hours on Monday, Japan’s Nikkei was little changed after reaching a 14-month top last week. It was up 2.3% for the month so far.

Chinese stocks posted their worst single-day drop in six weeks, weighed down by a correction in tech shares after a state fund announced plans to cut its stakes in some chip makers.

The U.S. personal consumption expenditure deflator for November, due on Friday, is the only major economic report this week.

In currency markets, the euro was at $1.1083, up 0.05% after slipping 0.4% last week. Sterling was at $1.3027, edging up 0.18% from Friday’s three-week low of $1.2976. It slid 2.6% last week for its worst weekly showing since October 2017. The safe-haven Japanese yen was down 0.08% at 109.35.

That left the dollar index at 97.604, down 0.09% against six major currencies.

In commodities, Brent crude was down 23 cents to $65.95 a barrel. West Texas Intermediate crude slipped 24 cents to $60.2 a barrel.

Spot gold was up 0.4% at $1,484.07 an ounce.

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