The Santa rally continued on Thursday with Asian markets closing higher and U.S. markets poised to open higher, despite thin seasonal trading. Stock prices were supported by an increase in commodities pricing as well as a pullback in U.S. bond yields. Positive data, especially out of Asia, has lead analysts to speculate that the rally will continue into the new year.
Oil prices are hovering near 2015 highs, with U.S. WTI crude futures trading at $59.66 per barrel as of 8:09 a.m. EST, up 0.03 percent. Brent crude futures were down 0.03 percent, trading at $66.41 per barrel. Copper prices were up 0.50 percent on the day, bringing the metal to a 25 percent increase since the beginning of June. The rise in copper prices has sent commodity-based currencies higher, with the Canadian dollar, Australian dollar and the South African rand benefitting significantly in recent trading sessions. Gold futures were also up 0.21 percent to $1,294.10, down slightly from $1,294.80 hit earlier in the day.
Data out later on Thursday includes the U.S. initial jobless report and the good trade balance, both out at 8:30 a.m. EST. Crude oil inventory numbers will be released at 11 a.m. EST.
Despite positive movements in Asia and the United States, European stock markets were heading broadly lower on Thursday. The CAC was down 0.18 percent and the STOXX600 was 0.23 percent lower in early afternoon trade.
Bitcoin prices rebounded moderately, breaking above $14,000 to trade at $14,412.29 according to Coinbase. It remains to be seen whether this is the start of another push higher or just a short-lived rebound.