Asian shares on Thursday rode a dramatic surge on Wall Street as markets, battered by a recent drum roll of deepening political and economic gloom, cheered upbeat U.S. data and the Trump administration’s effort to shore up investor confidence. Stocks and oil prices rebounded on Wednesday as the Trump administration attempted to shore up investor confidence and markets welcomed a report on strong U.S. holiday spending. Investors have been unnerved by the potential for weaker economic growth and a partial U.S. federal government shutdown. Trump has largely laid the blame for economic headwinds on the Fed, openly criticizing a chairman he appointed.
In currencies, the dollar retained most of its overnight gains on Thursday but was off its peak for the week so far amid thin volumes, as signs of easing trade tensions and strong U.S. economic data sent Wall Street stocks and Treasury yields higher. GBPUSD which has been battered by Brexit woes in recent months, was firmer at $1.2659, having lost 0.4 percent the previous session. EURUSD is set to end the year lower by 5 percent as weak economic fundamentals in Europe, political tensions in France and Italy and a dovish European Central Bank had made investors favour the dollar over the euro in 2018.
In commodities, Oil also caught investors’ attention after U.S. crude and Brent overnight both marked their largest single-day rises since late November 2016. U.S. crude on Wednesday rallied almost 8.7 percent, while Brent jumped more than 8.8 percent in a partial rebound from steep losses that pushed crude benchmarks to lows not seen since last year. U.S. crude was last trading 0.4 percent lower at $46.06 a barrel, while Brent gave up 0.3 percent at $54.30 a barrel. Gold remained below a six-month peak hit during the previous session. Spot gold was flat at $1,268.00, as earlier gains were shed as investors ventured back into riskier assets.