GLOBAL MARKETS-Asian stocks defy broader global rally, Brexit worries emerge

  • Reuters
  • Stock Market News
GLOBAL MARKETS-Asian stocks defy broader global rally, Brexit worries emerge
Credit: © Reuters.

* S&P stock futures up slightly

* All three major U.S. stock indexes at record highs

* Asset risk on, dollar down

* Oil and gold rise

* Bitcoin scores again

* Asia stock markets this year:

By David Henry

NEW YORK, Dec 17 (Reuters) - Asian stock fell slightly on Friday, failing to catch a broader global rally as the investor mood in the region shifted to broader caution about the economic outlook and as post-Brexit worries weighed.

Australian S&P/ASX 200 .AXJO lost 0.46% in early trading. Japan's Nikkei 225 .N225 fell 0.01%. E-mini futures for the S&P 500 EScv1 rose 0.01%.

As the year draws to a close, markets have been swinging between broader optimism about COVID-19 vaccines and a global economic recovery and concerns about still rising infections.

"We are in an environment now where bad news is good news because it means more stimulus," said Sharon Zollner, chief economist at ANZ Research.

"That will have to change, but it is very difficult to know when central banks will stop having their foot to the floor and everyone has to reassess," she said.

Global stocks hit record highs on Thursday, fueled by growing optimism that deals will be reached over a fresh U.S. stimulus package. Britain and the European Union struck a pessimistic tone in trade talks on Thursday, with a spokesman for Prime Minister Boris Johnson saying it was "very likely" there would be no agreement unless the bloc changed its position "substantially". BTC=BTSP too, rose another 7% on Thursday after a 10% gain on Wednesday that had carried the cryptocurrency over $20,000 for the first time. negotiators in Washington were scrambling on Thursday to agree on details of a $900 billion COVID-19 aid bill. Lawmakers from both parties said failing to agree was not an option. Earlier Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said talks could spill into the weekend. markets remained confident in the new spending, which is estimated to be equivalent to 5% of gross domestic product.

Pressure for pandemic relief increased as new economic data showed the number of Americans filing first-time claims for jobless benefits unexpectedly rose last week. And, manufacturing activity in the mid-Atlantic region cooled in December, with factories reporting a sharp slowdown in new orders. bright spot in the economy was credited partly to low-interest rates: The housing market remains resilient, with homebuilding and permits powering ahead in November. Street's three main indexes closed at record highs.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI rose 0.5%, the S&P 500 .SPX gained 0.6% and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC picked up another 0.8% to its third-straight daily record. were encouraged that the United States stood ready to ship 5.9 million doses of a new coronavirus vaccine developed by Moderna Inc MRNA.O that is on the cusp on winning regulatory approval. United States is battling a fresh coronavirus outbreak, with nearly 17 million infected, 308,000 dead and a rising daily death toll.

The dollar's safe haven status gave way to riskier bets. The dollar index =USD on Thursday fell as low as 89.723 against a basket currencies on Thursday, breaking below 90 for the first time since April 2018, and was last down 0.50% at 89.795. FRX/ USD/

Spot gold XAU= jumped 1.1% to $1,885.37 per ounce on Thursday afternoon, having hit a one-month high earlier in the session. U.S. gold futures GCv1 settled up 1.7% at $1,890.40. GOL/

Oil climbed rose on Thursday and touched a nine-month high. Brent crude LCOc1 futures settled up 42 cents at $51.50 a barrel and U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude CLc1 futures rose by 54 cents to $48.36 a barrel. O/R

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