Dollar weakens on soft data
US stock market rebounded on last trading day of 2018 on Monday lifted by optimism after President Trump tweet Saturday that he and Chinese leader Xi Jinping had made “big progress” in a telephone discussion about trade. The S&P 500 gained 0.9% to 2506.85. Dow Jones rose 1.2% to 23327.46. The Nasdaq added 0.8% to 6635.28. However S&P 500 lost 6.2% in 2018 and Dow fell 5.6%. The dollar weakened again as data showed Dallas Fed’s index of manufacturing activity turned negative in December. The live dollar index data show the ICE US Dollar index, a measure of the dollar’s strength against a basket of six rival currencies, fell 0.2% to 96.37 and is lower currently. Stock index futures point to lower openings today.
European stocks end 2018 solidly lower
European stock markets advanced on Monday on trade optimism sparked by President Trump’s tweets about progress in trade talks with China over the weekend. GBP/USD joined EUR/USD’s continuing climb and both are higher currently. The Stoxx Europe 600 gained 0.4%, while dropping 13.2% for 2018. German markets were closed, France’s CAC 40 rallied 1.1% but UK’s FTSE 100 slipped 0.1% to 6728.13.
Asian indices fall as Chinese manufacturing slows
Asian stock indices are falling today after report Chinese manufacturing slowed in December. Nikkei slid 0.3% to 20014.77 as yen continued advancing against the dollar. Chinese stocks are retreating after report Caixin Manufacturing PMI declined more than expected in December, indicating contraction in China’s manufacturing activity : the Shanghai Composite Index is down 1.2%, and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index is 3.1% lower Australia’s All Ordinaries Index fell 1.6% as the Australian dollar continues its climb against the greenback.
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Brent closes 2018 19.5% lower
Brent futures prices are inching lower today after a modest gain on Monday in thin trading. February Brent rose 1.1% to $53.80 a barrel on Monday, ending 19.5% lower for 2018.
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