Japanese stocks rose on the back of a weak yen, bringing the Nikkei 225 to a 15 year high and the Topix to the highest level in seven years. Chinese stocks climbed to a four-week high amid hopes the government might increase economic stimulus. Chinese Premier called for more active fiscal policy as the government announced tax breaks for small businesses and the central bank did not rule out additional monetary easing.
Equity markets in Europe posted moderate losses in light of few new impulses, as the preliminary easing of the Greek debt drama and a still “patient” Fed gave stocks some support. Latest US economic data came in mixed, as new home sales fell -0.2% at the beginning of this year. However, the decline was less than the -2.3% drop analysts had anticipated. Previously reported solid gain in November was revised down to +8.1% from +11.6%. In Europe, French consumer confidence surprised positively.
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