2 Months : From Dec 2019 to Feb 2020
By Anna Hirtenstein
Markets were largely quiet ahead of the Christmas holiday, with some increases in Asia building on gains from the latest step forward in U.S.-China trade relations.
"It's very thin volumes at this time of year, markets move on very small amounts of share trading," said Gerry White, chief investment commentator at Charles Stanley. "General tones for next year are that things are looking a little brighter, which is reflected in these market movements today such as in Asia."
The Shanghai Composite Index closed up 0.7%. Korea's Kospi index slipped 0.6%, falling for the second day as traders booked profits at the year-end. Oil rose, with both Brent and WTI adding 0.5%.
The Chinese government said yesterday it would reduce tariffs on more than 850 imported products, including frozen pork, pharmaceuticals and some high-tech components starting in the new year. The government in Beijing also said that it would expand the list later in the year.
In Europe, the Stoxx Europe 600 and the U.K.'s FTSE 100 both edged up 0.1%.
In the U.S., futures tied to the S&P 500 also gained 0.1%. The stock markets in the U.S. will close early at 1 p.m. ET, and bond markets at 2 p.m. The British pound advanced 0.2% against the euro, trading at EUR1.1689 per pound sterling and reversing course after yesterday's drop related to Brexit concerns.
Gold added 0.4%, extending yesterday's rally and reaching the highest level since Nov. 4, reflecting some caution about the state of the global economy.
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(END) Dow Jones Newswires
December 24, 2019 08:05 ET (13:05 GMT)
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