Global Stock Prices Gain on Strong Holiday Sales in the United States

WASHINGTON, Dec.27 (Reuters) – Global stock markets rose on Monday and oil prices fell as investors hailed strong holiday sales in the United States and some feared less economic damage by the Omicron variant of COVID-19.

Still, fears that the pandemic could hurt economic growth have pushed gold prices to their highest in more than a week despite pressure from a stronger US dollar.

A survey by Mastercard Inc showed a substantial increase in holiday season retail sales in the United States. read more It fueled investor optimism, energizing Wall Street and pushing up the gauge of equities across the world (.MIWD00000PUS) by 0.87%. European gains offset earlier weakness in Asian markets.

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Some investors have become convinced that a global recovery will gather strength next year, even as the pandemic has prompted U.S. airlines to cancel or delay thousands of flights due to staff shortages, while several ships from cruise had to cancel stopovers after COVID-19 outbreaks on board. Read more

In Asia, China reported its largest daily increase in local COVID-19 cases in 21 months, with infections more than doubling in the northwestern city of Xian, its latest hotspot. Read more

In France, the government has called a special meeting that could trigger further restrictions after the country hits a new infection record. Read more

Spot gold added 0.1% to $ 1,811.92 an ounce.

Major Wall Street stock indexes recorded their fourth straight session of gains, after reports last week that Omicron’s highly infectious variant may not be as deadly as previous types of COVID-19. Read more

“As 2022 approaches, we will still have uncertainties related to COVID, but the good news is that, according to the WHO, we could see the end of the pandemic towards the end of the year,” Jawaid said. Afsar, sales representative at Securequity.

He added that next year, markets will face other challenges as well, ranging from inflationary pressures to tightening policies and geopolitical risks.

A trader wearing a face mask works in the trading floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) as the Omicron coronavirus variant continues to spread in Manhattan, New York, United States, December 20, 2021. REUTERS / Andrew Kelly

Going forward, low trading volumes ahead of the New Year could make the markets volatile. Yet since 1945, the last five trading days of December and the first two days of January bode well for U.S. stocks 75% of the time, according to data from CFRA Research. Read more

The pan-European STOXX 600 index (.STOXX) rose 0.62%, approaching its highest level in more than a month.

Mainland Chinese stocks weakened, with the Shanghai benchmark (.SSE50) slipping 0.4% and a blue chip index (.CSI300) falling less than 0.1%. Real estate stocks rose, however, after China’s central bank pledged to promote healthy development in the real estate market. Read more

Australia, Hong Kong and Britain were among the markets closed Monday for holidays.

DOLLAR RANGE BOUND

On Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (.DJI) rose 0.98%, while the S&P 500 (.SPX) gained 1.38% after hitting a record during the session. The Nasdaq Composite (.IXIC) added 1.39%.

In debt markets, yields on 10-year US Treasuries remained below Thursday’s high of just over 1.5%.

In currency markets, the dollar was in a range, despite a hawkish turn by the Federal Reserve this month that saw policymakers signaling three-quarter point rate hikes in 2022.

The dollar index fell 0.026%, the euro rose 0.01% to $ 1.1326

In the crude market, US crude recently rose 3.04% to $ 76.03 a barrel and Brent was at $ 78.94, up 3.68% on the day.

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Reporting by Katanga Johnson in Washington Additional reporting by Danilo Masoni in Milan and Kevin Buckland in Tokyo; Editing by Pravin Char, Alexander Smith and David Gregorio

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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