U.S. Stocks Advance, Pare Worst Month of Bull Run By Bloomberg

© Bloomberg. A pedestrian is reflected in an electronic stock board outside a securities firm in Kobe, Hyogo Prefecture, Japan. Photographer: Buddhika Weerasinghe/Bloomberg

(Bloomberg) — U.S. stocks pushed higher in thin afternoon trading on the final day of what is shaping up to be the worst year since the financial crisis. Treasuries slipped and oil erased gains.

The S&P 500 opened higher on optimism that President Donald Trump will move toward a trade deal with China, but the advance faltered in trading 28 percent below average. U.S. equity markets have regular hours Monday. The stock benchmark is mired in its worst December since the Great Depression, its worst month since February 2009 and the worst year since 2008.

Stocks around the world a limping to the end of a dismal year that’s seen bear markets in equities from Japan to Germany. Europe’s main stock gauge headed for 13 percent drop in the year — the biggest since 2008.

Crude erased gains that took it above $46 a barrel. It remains on track its first annual drop since 2015. The dollar edged lower as a government shutdown continued. The euro held steady against the greenback after Italy’s populist government won final parliamentary approval for its 2019 budget.

Global stocks are set for their worst year since the financial crisis while oil is mired in its steepest quarterly slump since 2014. Plenty of event risks loom in the next 12 months, from the U.K.’s exit from the European Union to U.S.-China trade talks and the continuing showdown between President Trump and Congress over the budget. The American political landscape is also unsettling investors following departures of senior officials and Trump’s repeated criticism of Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell.

Elsewhere, emerging-market shares climbed and their currencies were steady even as factory data from China contracted.

Here are some events investors may focus on in coming days:

  • The U.S. December jobs report is due Friday, Jan. 4.
  • Fed Chair Powell is interviewed with predecessors Janet Yellen and Ben Bernanke at the annual meeting of the American Economic Association Friday. Atlanta Fed President Raphael Bostic joins a panel on long-run macroeconomic performance.

And these are the main moves in markets:

Stocks

  • The rose 0.5 percent as of 12:32 p.m. New York time.
  • The added 0.5 percent, headed for its first four-day rally since August.
  • The Index rose 0.4 percent to the highest in more than a week.
  • The MSCI All-Country World Index gained 0.2 percent to the highest in more than a week.
  • The MSCI Emerging Market Index climbed 0.4 percent to the highest in more than a week.

Currencies

  • The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index dipped 0.1 percent to the lowest in almost 10 weeks.
  • The euro declined less than 0.05 percent to $1.1442.
  • The Japanese yen increased 0.3 percent to 109.93 per dollar, the strongest in about six months.
  • The British pound rose 0.6 percent to $1.2774, the strongest in more than three weeks on the biggest rise in almost three weeks.
  • The Currency Index rose less than 0.05 percent to the highest in almost four weeks.

Bonds

  • The yield on 10-year Treasuries climbed one basis point to 2.73 percent.
  • Britain’s 10-year yield gained one basis point to 1.277 percent.

Commodities

  • The Bloomberg Commodity Index fell 0.7 percent.
  • West Texas Intermediate crude fell 0.2 percent to $45.23 a barrel.
  • Gold rose 0.2 percent to $1,282.90 an ounce, the highest in almost seven months.

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