USA dollar continues to decline against euro

BlackRock's Koesterich Says Equities Can Go Higher

BlackRock's Koesterich Says Equities Can Go Higher

"This bull market is highly related to the fact we are facing good growth, low inflation and soft monetary policy normalization".

The euro was up 1.21 percent to $1.2177, on pace for its biggest single-day percentage gain against the greenback in more than six months.

Analysts said the minutes were interpreted by markets as a sign that rate-setters may accelerate the timeline on winding down their 2.55 trillion euros bond-buying programme, the key plank of their stimulus policy for the past three years. The Baker-Hughes rig count will be released tomorrow along with retail sales data and the latest consumer price index (CPI) in the U.S. France and India will also report CPI on Friday.

With both the US Federal Reserve and the Bank of England now on policy tightening cycles, the ECB is, along with the Bank of Japan, among the few major central banks still to retain an overwhelmingly dovish policy stance with policy language such as "evolve gradually" and "lower for longer" still prevalent in its statements.

The euro surged above $1.21 to a three-year high today on bets the European Central Bank is getting ready to wind down its huge monetary stimulus.

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Optimism about fourth-quarter earnings boosted stocks.

EURUSD has finally broken above significant resistance around 1.2100 and is now trading at a three-year high. Benchmark U.S. crude slipped 37 cents to $63.55 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

The dollar index was down by 0.05% to 91.81 as of 11.57am Shanghai time.

U.S. Treasury yields fell after China disputed a report that its government officials had recommended the country slow or halt its purchases of the U.S. bonds.

Dow Jones closed up by 0.80 percent, S&P 500 ended up 0.70 percent, Nasdaq finished the day up by 0.79 percent.

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A stronger Euro may not be what the European Central Bank wants as it heads back to multi year highs, helping deflate producer price pressures.

Most core euro zone bond yields dropped 1-3 bps on Friday, but only after rising sharply earlier in the week. In precious metals, gold edged up 0.4% without any major news behind the move, likely boosted by the softer United States dollar.

Spot gold was up 0.5 percent at $1,322.74 an ounce by 1:37 p.m. EST (1837 GMT) after touching $1,326.56 on Wednesday, the highest since September 15.

The surveys found that banks tightened their lending criteria again in the final three months of 2017, meaning the supply of unsecured credit available to households fell in each quarter previous year.

Brent crude prices hit $70 a barrel on signs of tightening crude stocks but settled off that level on Thursday, while a jump in energy shares helped lift US stocks.

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