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Markets pin hopes on Santa rally

Sunday, December 18, 2016 - 01:57

Stock markets may look for more strong gains after last week's surge in US and European equities, while on the macro front, the Bank of Japan and Germany's latest IFO reading take centre stage in the run-up to Christmas. And as David Pollard reports, some in the markets may just sit back and ponder the year ahead.

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Here at Santa's House in the Arctic Circle it's their busiest week. Letter elves sorting the mail, till elves taking the cash. As such they may have rather more to do than the world's financial markets. In a week where many may do little more than look back. (SOUNDBITE) (English) WILSON KING INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT, HEAD OF RESEARCH, RICHARD HUNTER, SAYING: "It's been quite a year, 2016 ... Obviously, we had the shock of the UK referendum, we then had the surprise of the US election. Markets have generally speaking managed to shrug those off, notwithstanding that the former two of course are both likely to be more of a 2017 story and indeed we can expect some further political unrest in 2017 as a number of European elections fall due." There are some big set piece events in what remains of this year. Like Germany's key IFO reading on Monday. There's little fear of nasty surprises after a raft of recent upbeat euro zone data. And on the same day, the Bank of Japan's latest policy decision. It too might find some festive cheer - in a post-Fed dollar surge that's driven down the yen - and hence could drive up Japan's reluctant inflation. Thursday sees the US reports its latest GDP reading. And on Friday the UK too - as it prepares to trigger the formal mechanism for Brexit. SOUNDBITE (English) OANDA SENIOR MARKET ANALYST, CRAIG ERLAM, SAYING: "We are going to see lower levels of growth. I do think we are potentially going to see wages potentially stagnate a bit at a time when we are going to see inflation rising ... I guess the question is always going to be what are companies going to do in the UK once Article 50 is invoked and what that's going to do to things like unemployment." And stock markets may hope for the traditional Santa rally. Though with the Dow already flirting with an unprecedented 20,000 points - and European shares at 11-month highs - that's one present that may already be in the bag.

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Markets pin hopes on Santa rally

Sunday, December 18, 2016 - 01:57