Market Overview:  Markets rise with Dow closing above 18000

US stocks and dollar moved higher on Tuesday after the revised data on third quarter economic growth bolstered investors optimism about US economy. The unexpectedly high revision of the third-quarter GDP growth rate to 5% from an initial estimate of 3.5% showed growth in the US economy accelerated at its fastest pace in 11 years. The ICE dollar index climbed 0.32% to 90.06. The Dow Industrial closed above 18,000 for the first time ever and the S&P 500 closed at a record again, its 51st record close of the year. Trading volumes were extremely low and are expected to be light today as stock markets will close three hours earlier than normal. At 14:30 CET labor market statistics will be released in US. The tentative forecasts for Continuing Claims and Initial Jobless Claims for weeks ending December 13 and 20 respectively indicate marginal increases in both indicators, which we believe may have a limited negative effect on USD.

The broader European stock market rose Tuesday for sixth consecutive session. The Stoxx Europe 600 gained 0.6% led by industrial, consumer staples and discretionary shares. The euro slipped against the dollar after the Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras failed to get his presidential candidate elected in a second round of parliamentary voting. There is a possibility that far-left Syriza party may win in a general election if no president is confirmed during a final vote on December 29 and snap elections are called for late January, which negatively affects the euro outlook. Syriza is opposed to austerity measures imposed on the country as a condition for Greece’s bailout program.

Japanese stocks are rising today following the Wall Street’s lead. Dollar advanced for a fifth day against the yen breaking through the 120 mark, moving back towards a 7-1/2 year high and boosting Japanese exporters’ shares

The ruble strengthened after the government called on exporters to buy rubles. According to Gazprom, the government has ordered five state-controlled exporters, including Gazprom, to reduce their foreign-currency holdings by March 1 to levels no higher than on October 1. Analysts predict the gains in ruble may be overdone and the future movement of the exchange rate will be determined by the price of oil.

Crude-oil futures rose on Tuesday on indication of faster US economic recovery attested by the revised third-quarter GDP data showing US expanded by an unexpectedly strong 5% annual rate. On the New York Mercantile Exchange, West Texas Intermediate crude oil futures for delivery in February gained 3.4%. Investor optimism was boosted also by a Reuters report on Tuesday quoting some Arab members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries as saying they expect global oil prices to rebound to between $70 and $80 a barrel by the end of next year, underpinned by a global economic recovery. A report by Morgan Stanley indicated a likelihood of some value buying over the next two months as global oil demand rises in the northern winter, but predicts “any oil-relief rally is likely to be limited and short-lived, barring a major outage,” citing OPEC’s decision not to cut production, new oil supply coming in early 2015, and a strengthening US dollar. Today at 16:30 CET US Crude Oil Inventories will be released, the tentative forecast is bullish for oil prices as a fall in inventories is expected.

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