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Asian stocks traded new highs on Wednesday as risk appetite grew after industry surveys stated an upsurge in global expansion was indeed happening.

Gains came after manufacturing surveys from India to Germany to Canada presented accelerated activity.

Macro strategist Alan Ruskin said that the span of recovery was astonishing, noting that only three out of the 31 countries covered were unable to show growth, while all the major manufacturing sectors improved.

Rusking added that the world economy and risky assets are now firmly into a good cycle, whereby growth is boosting equities, that are supporting growth.            

MSCI's index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan gained 0.4 percent to $579.72, after marking its highest since last March of 1.4 percent on Tuesday. The index is also closing in on its all-time high of $591.50 in 2007.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 was currently closed for the holidays, whereas South Korea’s KOSPI closed on a positive note, as it raised 0.2 percent to ₩2,486.35.

Shares in China and Hong Kong were optimistic as well, with the Shanghai Composite index raising 0.6 percent to CN¥3,369.11.

Chinese blue chips CSI300 climbed for the fourth session by 0.5 percent to CN¥4,111.39, while the Hang Seng index was up 0.1 percent, hitting a decade high of HK$30,566.

Philippines’ PSEi Composite added 1.9 percent, recording new highs of ₱8,724.13 for the first trading day of the year and surpassing its previous all-time high of ₱8,558.42 last Friday.

Thailand’s SET index traded a 24-year gain of 1.2 percent to ฿1,776.10, while India’s BSE Sensex was up by 0.2 percent to ₹33,888.28.  

Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 was higher by 0.1 percent after the close to A$6,070.40, driven by gains from metals and mining, resources, and materials sectors.

US stocks also started the year with another record gains. Dow Jones Industrial Average increased by 0.4 percent to $24,824.01, while S&P 500 added 0.1 percent to $2,697.50, and Nasdaq 100 futures rose 0.1 percent to $6,527.

European Stocks

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European stocks also opened higher on Wednesday, following a series of strong economic data in the eurozone and as investors turn their focus on the release of new rules for the continent’s financial sector.

According to data released on Tuesday, the eurozone manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index in December marked 60.6, its highest level since the surveys started in June 1997. Any figure higher than 50 signals expansion over the month.

New reforms are also expected to come into force later in the day, which are likely to pose risk for the industry.

The standards are part of an effort to further clarify on how and when assets are traded. Anyone buying or selling stocks, bonds, currencies, commodities, or exchange-traded funds (ETF’s) will be included in the new rules.  

Euro Stoxx 50 gained 0.1 percent to €3,491.50, with most sectors and major bourses placed in a positive territory.

Germany’s DAX added 0.2 percent to €12,907.50, while Britain’s FTSE 100 fell by 0.02 percent to £7,646.50, and France’s CAC 40 climbed by 0.1 percent to €5,298.50.

Italy’s FTSE MIB was also up by 0.01 percent to €21,847.50, while Spain’s IBEX 35 grew 0.3 percent to €10,109.

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