U.S. stock futures held on to gains and European shares followed Asia higher at the end of a week when sentiment was bolstered by a more dovish tone from the Federal Reserve and hopes for a breakthrough on trade. The dollar slipped and Treasuries climbed.
Contracts on the Dow, S&P and Nasdaq indexes were all range-bound, while real estate companies led the Stoxx Europe 600 Index higher. In Asia, shares rose in Shanghai, Tokyo, Seoul and Hong Kong. The greenback was set for a fourth week of losses after Fed Chairman Jerome Powell underscored the message of patience with further interest-rate hikes, while saying the central bank will keep shrinking its balance sheet. European debt tracked Treasuries higher. The pound edged higher as U.K. politicians continued to debate Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit deal.
Equities are set for big gains this week amid signs of progress between the world’s two biggest economies on trade and dovish commentary from the Fed. Still, worries remain about economic growth and earnings prospects, while there’s also uncertainty as the U.S. partial government shutdown threatens to extend into a fourth week.
Chinese Vice Premier Liu He is set to visit Washington on Jan. 30 and 31 for further trade talks. China’s yuan, which slumped last year as trade tensions worsened, is heading for its best week since 2005 — back when the country dropped a fixed peg to the dollar.
Elsewhere, oil in New York traded above $53 a barrel after surging this week. Emerging-market currencies and shares extended recent gains.
These are the main moves in markets:
Futures on the S&P 500 Index climbed less than 0.05 percent as of 10:07 a.m. London time. The Stoxx Europe 600 Index gained 0.3 per cent to the highest in a month. The MSCI All-Country World Index increased 0.2 per cent, hitting the highest in more than four weeks with its sixth consecutive advance. The MSCI Emerging Market Index advanced 0.4 per cent to the highest in more than five weeks.
The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index sank 0.3 per cent to the lowest in more than 15 weeks. The euro advanced 0.2 per cent to US$1.1524. The Japanese yen climbed 0.1 per cent to 108.31 per dollar. The British pound increased 0.2 per cent to $1.2769. The MSCI Emerging Markets Currency Index gained 0.2 per cent to the highest in almost seven months.
The yield on 10-year Treasuries declined three basis points to 2.71 per cent, the biggest fall in more than a week. Germany’s 10-year yield dipped one basis point to 0.24 per cent. Britain’s 10-year yield declined two basis points to 1.257 per cent. The spread of Italy’s 10-year bonds over Germany’s decreased one basis point to 2.6274 percentage points.
The Bloomberg Commodity Index gained 0.7 per cent to the highest in more than three weeks. West Texas Intermediate crude advanced 1 per cent to US$53.12 a barrel, hitting the highest in more than five weeks with its 10th consecutive advance. LME copper increased 0.6 per cent to US$5,968.00 per metric ton, the highest in two weeks. Gold climbed 0.5 per cent to US$1,292.45 an ounce.