Stocks climbed worldwide on Friday, propelling global benchmarks to fresh records, as robust gains in technology shares make 2019 a year to remember for risk assets. The dollar slipped for a second day.
Equities rose in Europe, with most regional markets in the green, after gains in communications-services shares drove Asian markets higher. Futures ratcheted up on the tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 and broader S&P 500 indexes, indicating the gauges may push toward new record highs after Thursday’s advances were buoyed by computer and retail stocks, with Amazon.com Inc. reporting “record-breaking” holiday season.
The Nasdaq topped 9,000 on Thursday for the first time ever, taking just 335 days from the time it fist closed above 8,000.
Many of the markings of risk-on sentiment were emerging in the last full week of 2019: The greenback fell versus its major peers, particularly the euro. Treasuries tread water. And while European bonds edged higher, a gauge of risk sentiment in European investment-grade credit slipped to within one basis point of a 12-year low.
Equities are getting a lift from reports of strong holiday sales, with e-commerce sales surging from Amazon to Mastercard SpendingPulse. A solid rebound for industrial profits in China also buoyed sentiment, with investors now looking to the U.S.-China trade deal to sustain gains in the new year.
“Every single factor we look at from a macro perspective, an economics perspective, a political and trade perspective, is actually bullish,” Martin Malone, chief economic adviser at Alphabook, said on Bloomberg TV. “Investors in the last 12 months with all the uncertainty actually have had a defensive posture and cash levels are just too high, and people are going to have to invest. We probably are going to continue very solid gains in the next quarter.”
Elsewhere, the pound advanced for a fourth day and headed for its biggest gain in two weeks. Oil futures edged up toward $62 a barrel in New York. Gold dipped, though still held above $1,500 an ounce.
Earlier in Asia, advances in stock markets were led by Hong Kong and Taipei. Benchmarks were more mixed in Tokyo and Seoul, where a number of companies traded without the right to the next dividend payment.
Here are some of the moves in major markets:
- The Stoxx Europe 600 Index advanced 0.2% as of 9:30 a.m. London time.
- Futures on the S&P 500 Index climbed 0.1%.
- The U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index gained 0.3%.
- The MSCI Asia Pacific Index advanced 0.5%.
- The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index sank 0.2%.
- The British pound jumped 0.5%.
- The euro climbed 0.3% to $1.1133.
- The Japanese yen strengthened 0.2% to 109.48 per dollar.
- The onshore yuan was little changed at 6.996 per dollar.
- The yield on 10-year Treasuries dipped one basis point to 1.88%.
- Germany’s 10-year yield declined one basis point to -0.26%.
- Italy’s 10-year yield sank one basis point to 1.418%.
- The Markit iTraxx Europe Index of credit-default swaps on investment-grade companies fell less than one basis point to 44.
- West Texas Intermediate crude increased 0.4% to $61.94 a barrel.
- Gold slipped 0.1% to $1,509.53 an ounce.
- LME nickel sank 2% to $14,055 per metric ton.
- LME zinc surged 1.1% to $2,299 per metric ton.
—With assistance from Christopher Anstey.
More must-read stories from Fortune:
—2020 Crystal Ball: Predictions for the economy, politics, technology, etc.
—Why you actually may want to buy “bears” in a bull market
—5 CEO exits that sum up the memorable business year that was 2019
—The Decade in IPOs: What 6 offerings tell us about going public in the 2010s
—How blockchain will shake up the financial world
Don’t miss the Term Sheet, Fortune’s newsletter on deals and dealmakers.