World stocks touched record highs Friday, as trading wound down before the year-end holidays, while the Sterling was heading in the direction of its worst week for over two years amid resumed worries over how Britain will leave the European Union.
MSCI’s world equity index, which monitors shares in 49 nations, gained a smidgeon to 561.31, bettering a record touched Thursday as optimism infused markets after the U.S. and China agreed on an initial trade agreement.
The MSCI index is on track to advance over 1% this week, in what can be its fourth consecutive week of gains.
European shares led the way, with the broad Euro gaining 0.3% in early trading. Indexes in Frankfurt, Paris, and London all made similar gains.
Nevertheless, Shell shares dropped 0.6% after it stated it expects impairment costs of as much as $2.3 billion in the fourth quarter and defeated its forecast for quarterly oil production sales.
On Wall Street, e-mini futures for the S&P 500 slipped a touch; however, it had been near all-time highs, having risen over 1% in the week.
MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan had been steady after surging 1.2% so far this week and almost 5% this month.
Emphasizing that the trade war issue has been put to bed, for now, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin stated America and China would sign their Phase One trade settlement in early January.
Mnuchin stated the documentation was finished and merely undergoing a technical “scrub”, although Beijing has so far eluded all particulars of the agreement.