SHANGHAI. — A broad gauge of Asian share markets rose to an 18-month high yesterday as Chinese equities gained, while oil touched three-month highs on a combination of US crude inventory draw-downs, trade optimism and unrest in the Middle East.
But European shares were expected to open lower as investors take a breather from recent rallies.
In early European trade, the pan-region Euro Stoxx 50 futures STXEc1 were down 0,16 percent at 3 764 German DAX futures FDXc1 were down 0,22 percent at 13 291,5 and FTSE futures FFIc1 were down 0,11 percent at 7 578,5.
MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan. MIAPJ0000PUS rose to its highest since June 19, 2018, before trimming gains. It was last up 0,05 percent.
Chinese blue chips, which had started the day lower, were up 1,13 percent in afternoon trade, bolstered by a report that 2019 retail sales are forecast to rise 8 percent and expectations that a new benchmark for floating-rate loans could lower borrowing costs and boost flagging economic growth.
But Australian shares finished 0,25 percent lower as investors continued to consolidate recent gains.
Japan’s Nikkei stock index N225 finished its last trading day of the year down 0,76 percent. — Bloomberg.