GLOBAL MARKETS-Global shares hold record highs, dollar up ahead of Fed minutes

From Reuters - January 3, 2018

NEW YORK (Reuters) - World shares smashed records on Wednesday as U.S. equities advanced and European stocks closed higher on investor optimism in the new year, while the dollar rallied against key currencies ahead of minutes from last months Federal Reserve meeting.

MSCIs gauge of stocks .MIWD00000PUS, which tracks shares in 47 countries, gained 0.40 percent. In 2017, the indexs best year since 2009, it set scores of record highs and rose by one-fifth in value.

U.S. equities also climbed to fresh highs on Wednesday, propelled by tech stocks. The benchmark S&P 500 breached the 2,700-mark for the first time, while the Nasdaq Composite and the Dow Jones Industrial Average also broke records.

Technology companies Oracle (ORCL.N) and IBM (IBM.N) rose 2.47 percent and 2.92 percent, respectively, following brokerage upgrades. The shares helped boost the S&P technology index .SPLRCT 0.86 percent.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI rose 45.72 points, or 0.18 percent, to 24,869.73, the S&P 500 .SPX gained 12.81 points, or 0.48 percent, to 2,708.62 and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC added 47.74 points, or 0.68 percent, to 7,054.64.

Tuesday, the first day of trading in 2018, saw a strong start for the indices, with the S&P and the Nasdaq hitting record closing highs.

We had a strong start and we are likely to see a follow through in the near-term, said Scott Brown, chief economist at Raymond James in St. Petersburg, Florida.

In Europe, shares closed higher after a rising dollar boosted exporters and Wall Street records lifted optimism as new European MiFID II market rules took hold. The pan-European STOXX 600 indexwas up 0.48 percent.

Meanwhile, MSCIs broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan .MIAPJ0000PUS closed 0.46 percent higher as manufacturing surveys pointed to a strong start for the European economy.

Emerging market stocks rose 0.58 percent, and Japan's Nikkei .N225 lost 0.08 percent.


The dollar index .DXY rose 0.24 percent, snapping a three-week losing streak, after stronger-than-forecast U.S. manufacturing and construction data.


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