(Updates prices throughout, adds European stock futures) * Asian stock markets : tmsnrt.rs/2zpUAr4 * MSCI ex-Japan near 18-mth highs, up nearly 5% this month * E-mini futures at all-time highs, up 2.7% this month * Currencies tread water, sterling near 3-week lows By Swati Pandey SYDNEY, Dec 23 (Reuters) – Asian markets idled near 18-month highs on Monday as trading volumes weakened ahead of the Christmas holiday break, with investors taking profit on gains made earlier this month. In early European trades, the pan-region Euro Stoxx 50 futures and German DAX futures rose 0.1% each while those for London’s FTSE inched up a bit. E-Mini futures for the S&P 500 climbed to all-time highs having put on 2.7% for the month. MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan hovered near its highest since June 2018, having risen 1.4% last week and more than 5% this month. For the final quarter of the year, it is up nearly 10% so far. Global stocks were “basking in the afterglow of the U.S. China trade deal and continued encouraging signs of stabilisation in the global growth slowdown,” said David Bassanese, Sydney-based chief economist at Betashares. On Friday, the benchmark S&P 500 extended… Read full this story
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