Stocks in Australia and New Zealand declined before the New Year holiday while U.S. index futures were little changed after the Dow (INDU) Jones Industrial Average climbed to a record. Silver and gold rose, paring back yesterday’s declines, while oil held below $100 a barrel.
The S&P/ASX 200 Index (AS51) lost 0.1 percent by 10:54 a.m. in Sydney and the NZX 50 Index dropped 0.5 percent, with both markets to close early. Standard & Poor’s 500 Index futures were little changed after the the Dow added 0.2 percent to an all-time high of 16,504.29. Silver and gold gained after sliding at least 1.4 percent yesterday. The metals are set for their worst years since 1981. Crude oil in New York was steady at $99.34. The yen strengthened to the dollar, trimming its annual slump.
While the Nikkei 225 Stock Average (NKY) capped its best year since 1972 yesterday, valuations on Asian stocks outside Japan are trailing those for global equities by the most since 2005, data compiled by Bloomberg show. Australia is scheduled to report on private sector credit today, while South Korea posted faster-than-estimated inflation for December. In the U.S., reports on house prices and consumer confidence are due.
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