European stocks slide; dollar extends decline: Markets wrap

Bloomberg.- European stocks started 2018 in the red, failing to capitalize on a positive Asian session as the strength of the region’s common currency weighed on exporters. The dollar weakened against all G-10 peers and Treasuries fell.

The Stoxx Europe 600 Index dropped, with automakers leading the decline as most industry sectors headed lower. In Asia, the MSCI Asia Pacific Index climbed to a record, though markets in Tokyo remain closed until Thursday for Japanese holidays. Chinese equities led gains as property shares soared and a gauge of the nation’s manufacturing strength beat expectations. U.S. stock futures pointed to a higher open.

European bonds dropped and the euro strengthened to near a three-year high against the dollar as the region’s manufacturing activity expanded in line with estimates in December. The Bloomberg Dollar Index hit a three-month low, helping propel gold to the highest since September. West Texas oil fluctuated as Iran said protests in the country will fade in days. Bitcoin steadied after Monday’s losses.

Investors begin 2018 on the heels of a winning year for equities and a losing one for the greenback. Global stocks last year posted their best performance since 2009, fueled by a synchronous expansion and a go-slow approach toward monetary-stimulus withdrawal in major economies.

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