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GLOBAL MARKETS-World stocks smash new records as New Year party rolls on

From Reuters - January 3, 2018

LONDON (Reuters) - World stocks hit fresh highs on Wednesday with European markets joining the party as early indications suggest 2018 will be another year of synchronized global growth led by a shining European economy.

After its biggest one-day gain in more than two weeks on Tuesday, in the wake of its best year since 2009 in 2017, MSCIs index of global stocks .MIWD00000PUS, which tracks shares in 47 countries, pushed on to new record highs.

The pan-European stock indexopened 0.3 percent higher, adding to gains for their Asian and the United States counterparts overnight as manufacturing surveys pointed to a strong start for the European economy.

The single currency EUR= was holding near a four-month high of $1.2081 hit on Tuesday.

Investors have woken up in the new year and looked forward to another firm year for global growth with very muted downside risk, said Investec economist Philip Shaw, though he warned against reading too much into the first two trading days of the new year.

The converse is the sell-off in bond markets: the idea that inflation pressures may be firmer than expected and central banks could take a slightly more aggressive approach than previously thought, he said.

For example, ECB rate-setter Ewald Nowotny told a German newspaper that the European Central Bank may end its stimulus program this year if the euro zone economy continues to grow strongly.

Borrowing costs across the euro area stayed near recent highs: the yield on Germanys 10-year government bond - the benchmark for the region - was close to a two-month high at 0.46 percent. <

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