Metals rally

Asian shares rose on Wednesday with oil and copper prices rocketing to multi-year highs in an uplifting sign for global growth and inflation, while major currencies were becalmed in a holiday-shortened week.

The gains in Asia came as copper – widely regarded as a barometer of global growth – jumped for a ninth straight session to a 3-1/2-year peak on expectations of strong demand from China. Oil was equally robust, but it was supply fears that kept it near its highest since mid-2015.

In forex markets, trading was thin with most major currencies muted. The euro was up 0.2 percent to $1.18780 and the dollar was barely changed at 113.19 yen.

The Australian dollar hit a two-month high, becoming one of the best performing major currencies this year along with the euro and the British pound.

The dollar index, which measures the greenback against other major currencies, is seen ending about 9 percent lower in 2017 as the reflation trade seen at the start of the year faded. It is down about 3 percent on the yen.

The commodities rally boosted shares in resource-dependent Australia, sending the country’s benchmark index to decade highs.

Brent crude, the international benchmark for oil prices, gave back its gains on Wednesday to trade at $66.69 a barrel. U.S. crude was off 23 cents at $59.74 after climbing as far as $60.01.

Spot gold stayed within a striking distance of a 4-week peak at 1,282 an ounce.

The U.S. Federal Reserve raised rates three times this year and is set to deliver further hikes in 2018. The European Central Bank is expected to finally begin clawing back its monetary stimulus and tighten policy after keeping the deposit rate below zero since 2014.

Looking ahead, the economic calendar today will see the release of the U.S. conference board’s consumer confidence data. Economists expect consumer confidence to slip to 128.2 following the previous month’s increase to 129.5. This is later followed by pending home sales data which is expected to post a 0.4% decline after rising 3.5% previously.