European shares rallied, while Asian stocks were mixed and U.S. equity futures held steady on Friday as traders struggled to make sense of wild price swings in the final sessions of the year. The yen led gains against the dollar and gold climbed as traders looked for havens from the remarkable bout of volatility.
Miners and technology companies led gains in the Stoxx Europe 600 Index. Futures on the Dow and Nasdaq pointed lower following roller-coaster trading in the previous session that saw the biggest upward reversal in the S&P 500 since 2010. In Asia, Japanese shares declined, while stocks in China saw modest gains. Yields on 10-year Treasuries held under 2.8 percent and their Japanese counterparts dipped below zero. Oil bounced with commodities and emerging market equities.
As global stocks close out their worst year since 2008 with yet more volatility, investors are looking for value in safer investments. Plenty of event risks loom in the coming quarter, from the U.K. vote on the Brexit deal to U.S.-China trade talks to the continuing showdown between President Donald Trump and Congress over the budget.
“We’re heading into a period of higher volatility," said Manpreet Gill, head of fixed income, currency and commodities strategy at Standard Chartered Plc in Singapore. “You need to have some dry powder on the side to take advantage of that. That’s where we particularly think that cash plays a bit of a role."
Japan and China had their final trading day of the year Friday. Aside from any further developments on the American political front -- where departures of senior officials and tensions at the White House over the Federal Reserve have unsettled investors, upcoming manufacturing PMIs from China and the U.S. may be a focus in the coming week.
Futures on the S&P 500 Index climbed less than 0.05 percent as of 8:51 a.m. London time, the highest in more than a week. The Stoxx Europe 600 Index climbed 1.2 percent, the first advance in a week and the biggest increase in more than two weeks. The MSCI All-Country World Index increased 0.4 percent to the highest in more than a week. The MSCI Emerging Market Index climbed 0.8 percent to the highest in more than a week on the biggest increase in more than two weeks.
The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index dipped 0.2 percent to the lowest in more than seven weeks. The euro gained 0.2 percent to $1.1457, the strongest in more than two months. The Japanese yen jumped 0.5 percent to 110.42 per dollar. The British pound climbed less than 0.05 percent to $1.2649. The MSCI Emerging Markets Currency Index gained 0.3 percent to the highest in more than three weeks on the largest rise in more than a week.
The yield on 10-year Treasuries gained one basis point to 2.78 percent. Germany’s 10-year yield advanced one basis point to 0.24 percent, the largest gain in a week. Britain’s 10-year yield climbed less than one basis point to 1.31 percent, the highest in a week. The spread of Italy’s 10-year bonds over Germany’s increased one basis point to 2.5216 percentage points.
The Bloomberg Commodity Index gained 0.3 percent. West Texas Intermediate crude advanced 2.8 percent to $45.85 a barrel. LME copper gained 0.6 percent to $6,021.50 per metric ton, the highest in more than a week on the biggest rise in more than a week. Gold climbed 0.2 percent to $1,277.99 an ounce, the highest in more than six months.