Australia markets close in 6 hours 12 minutes

    -50.50 (-0.67%)
  • ASX 200

    -52.90 (-0.72%)

    -0.0022 (-0.32%)
  • OIL

    +0.36 (+0.45%)
  • GOLD

    +1.40 (+0.08%)

    +135.81 (+0.54%)
  • CMC Crypto 200

    +2.91 (+0.72%)

    -0.0039 (-0.61%)

    -0.0069 (-0.64%)
  • NZX 50

    -50.17 (-0.43%)

    -47.64 (-0.40%)
  • FTSE

    -2.26 (-0.03%)
  • Dow Jones

    +34.88 (+0.10%)
  • DAX

    +39.09 (+0.27%)
  • Hang Seng

    -61.05 (-0.33%)
  • NIKKEI 225

    -448.20 (-1.59%)

Global shares climb after Fed tests brakes

World shares have touched a two-month high and the dollar swooped towards a three-month low, after Federal Reserve meeting minutes pointed to a slower pace of US interest rate rises from next month.

With Wall Street shut for Thanksgiving on Thursday, it was up to Europe to continue the rebound in market confidence that has been building for more than a month.

It seemed a bit of a struggle early on as London's FTSE slipped 0.1 per cent, but there were just enough gains in the rest of Europe and in Asia overnight to ensure things kept shuffling forward.

MSCI's 47-country index of world stocks touched its highest since mid-September, while German and British government bond yields, which drive Europe's borrowing costs, fell to their lowest since October and September respectively.

"The Federal Reserve minutes signalled that some sensible voices are trying to drown out Fed chair Powell's relentless 'hike, hike, hike' chant," UBS chief economist Paul Donovan said.

A "substantial majority" of Fed policymakers had agreed it would "likely soon be appropriate" to slow the pace of interest rate rises, the minutes released on Wednesday showed, although "various participants" had also said rates might need to go "somewhat higher than they had previously expected".

Futures markets show investors now expect US rates to peak just above five per cent by next May and are pricing in a roughly 75 per cent chance that the Fed switches to 50 basis point rises rather than the 75 bps it has been using recently.

For the currency markets, it meant the seven-week sell-off in the dollar continued.

The euro rose as high as $US1.0447, edging it closer to its recent four-month top of $US1.0481, while the dollar weakened 0.6 per cent against the Japanese yen to 138.70 yen and past $US1.20 against sterling.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan rose 1.3 per cent, while Japan's Nikkei and South Korean shares both rose about one per cent.

The Bank of Korea had reduced its pace of rate increases to 25 basis points. In Japan, data showed manufacturing activity had contracted at its fastest in two years.

Chinese property stocks stormed nearly seven per cent higher, meanwhile, after banks there pledged at least $US38 billion in fresh credit lines to cash-strapped developers.

The country's COVID-19 cases continued to surge however, reaching a record high, with the economic toll from mobility restrictions and lockdowns piling up.

Investors remained sceptical whether Beijing's plan to reduce banks' reserve requirement ratio would do much to restore economic growth while the government sticks to a zero-COVID policy.

The CSI300 index fell 0.4 per cent, while the Shanghai Composite Index lost 0.25 per cent.

In the oil market, prices were slipping toward a major support level established in September.

Brent crude futures fell 0.3 per cent to $US85.13. US crude oil futures eased 0.2 per cent to $US77.74 per barrel.