The euro's surge to an almost two-year high put a cap on the global market rally in Friday's quiet session, with most major exchanges consolidating after a second strong week of gains. The MSCI Asia-Pacific index declined for first time in ten days while the European Stoxx 600 index was fractionally in the green as were US equity futures ahead of earnings reports from General Electric, Honeywell, Schlumberger and others. Oil gained with Brent flirting with $50, zinc rallied along with most base metals.
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The relentless risk levitation continued overnight, as global shares extended their stretch of consecutive record highs on Thursday for a 10th day after a cautious BOJ lifted Asian stocks to a decade high with a dovish announcement that offered no surprises, while pushing back Kuroda's 2% inflation target to 2020, the 6th consecutive delay. With all eyes on the ECB in just over an hour, US equity futures are in the green, following solid gains around the globe. European stocks extended their biggest gain in a week while Asian equities maintained their rally.
In what has been a less exciting session than the previous two, the euro retraced some recent gains as traders grew concerned they may have overestimated the ECB's hawkish bias ahead of Thursday’s rate decision; in turn the dollar edged higher after the collapse of the GOP healthcare bill sent it to the lowest since September on Tuesday.
Not even Citi could infuse any excitement in the overnight session, which its called "Purgatorial":
Yesterday was a landmark day for the ECB. First, the central bank disclosed that its CSPP, or corporate bond, holdings rose above €100Bn for the first time. As DB's Jim Reids notes this morning, to put things in perspective, a similar market cap company would be the 18th largest in the Stoxx 600 and 42nd largest in the S&P 500. It's also roughly equivalent to the annual national output of Kuwait - the 59th largest economy in the world as of 2016."
Bulletin headline summary from RanSquawk