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Dow, Nikkei race to 20000

Nothing could persuade investors from rushing back to the global stock markets. Although the enthusiasm in global equities is hindered in Europe, we could say that overall, the Fed hangover remained short lived.


Nikkei (+0.66%) and Topix (+0.52%) closed the week in the green, as depreciation in the yen boosted demand for Japanese exporters. The US dollar is set to reconquer the 120 level against the yen and there is no particular reason to stop the Nikkei from rising towards the 20’000 handle.


The FTSE opened flat. Appetite above 7000 pence appears to be limited, yet not inexistent. The boost from mining (+0.24%) and energy stocks (+0.33%) was mitigated by the fall in technology stocks (-1.93%) at the open. Yet the cheaper pound and the recovery in oil prices could give a hand to the bulls and clear the way for a positive close.


Randgold Resources (+1.10%) and Fresnillo (unch.) hold on to their losses, after being severely squeezed by the hawkish rhetoric from the Federal Reserve (Fed). Fresnillo tanked as much as 8.60% on December 15th, while Randgold lost 5.9% on the same day. The downside risks prevail as firmer US yields and the broad-based demand in the US dollar continue to weigh on gold prices. The price of an ounce tanked to $1126 in Asia. 


We note that although the lack of appetite in gold could encourage a further extension of the sell-off to $1100/1080 area, higher inflation expectations will at some point resuscitate interest in gold for hedging purposes.


US equity futures traded higher in Asia. Although European traders are lacking conviction today, the US markets are called to be higher at the open. The Dow has gathered enough momentum since Donald Trump’s election as the next US president. The 20000 level is wetting many stock investors’ appetite and there is no major barrier to stop them from taking the Dow to the next level.


The Dow could start the day 13 points higher at 19865. The S&P500 is expected flat at the US open.