© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A trader works at a booth on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, US, November 8, 2021. REUTERS / Brendan McDermid
By Tommy Wilkes
LONDON (Reuters) – Stock markets plunged into limited trading on Friday, but are expected to experience the new year with double-digit gains for 2021 as oil prices hovered around $ 80 a barrel after their biggest annual rise since 2009.
The US dollar, which had its best year since 2015 rising 6.7%, held steady against most major currencies.
With several markets in Asia and Europe closed on Friday, trading volumes were very low and most markets without direction.
100, underperforming throughout 2021, fell 0.35%. Wall Street futures showed a flat open after a late withdrawal on Thursday.
The was slightly higher and remains only 0.5% of all-time highs. The index jumped 17% in 2021, its third consecutive year of double-digit gains.
A growing number of countries are reporting record daily cases of COVID-19 due to the Omicron variant, and New Year’s celebrations will be reduced and mitigated by continued uncertainty over the spread of the virus.
But after initially falling in December, stocks have rallied over the holiday season and are heading for record highs as investors are reassured the economies could handle the surge in Omicron cases.
“On COVID, for now, market participants may remain willing to increase their exposure to risk, and possibly push stock indexes to new highs, as several countries around the world have refrained from doing so. impose new lockdowns, despite record infections around the globe in recent days, ”said Charalambos Pissouros, head of research at JFD Group, a Cyprus-based brokerage firm.
Investors have retained the resilience of the global recovery through 2022 and the prospect of further gains if money stays cheap and corporate profitability so high.
This year’s ‘whole rally’ saw a wall of cheap central bank liquidity, government stimulus measures and strong economic rebounds after the pandemic, it’s hard not to profit from soaring asset prices .
U.S. stocks fueled the global rally as record earnings figures from large tech companies excited investors. This week they also hit a new record.
Commodity prices also had a very strong year, with supply often less than a surge in demand as economies reopen.
On the last day of the year, futures fell 0.29% to $ 79.72 per barrel, while oil fell 0.31% to $ 76.75 per barrel.
But Brent and WTI both rose more than 50% in 2021, boosted by the global economic recovery and producer restraint.
In economic news, Chinese factory activity accelerated unexpectedly in December, but only by a small margin, an official survey said, with analysts forecasting more economic headwinds in the near term.
RETURN OF THE CRI
The euro, which has fallen 7.4% this year as investors bet the European Central Bank would be slower to end pandemic-era stimulus than its rivals, fell 0.1% but held above $ 1.13.
The Japanese yen, which lost more than 11% against the dollar in 2021, edged down again to 115.12 yen to the dollar – not far from the four-year lows hit earlier this month.
The pound sterling appreciated against the dollar and the euro. The pound remains down for the year compared to the first, but is expected to have its best year since 2014 against the euro and fell to 83.69 pence on Friday, its strongest since February 2020.
Elsewhere in forex markets – by far the biggest currency loser in 2021 – fell for a fifth consecutive day.
This week’s falls eroded the strong gains made by the pound a week earlier, as investors worried about the country’s unorthodox monetary policy and rising inflation, and President Tayyip’s plan Erdogan to defend the pound deposits unveiled this month will not work.
Most government bond markets were closed.
Cryptocurrency prices rose, reversing some of their losses earlier in the week. added 2.8% to $ 48,433 while Ether gained a similar amount to $ 3,805.