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As the last couple of sessions of 2013 get underway this week, investors look back on a very positive year for risk assets, one that was particularly good for stocks. Most of the heavyweight benchmarks have posted at least 10 per cent returns, with some Eurozone and US indices printing in excess of 25 per cent gains. Those benchmarks made up of large-cap German-listed and US-listed stocks outperformed. 

Fortune, however, did not extend to all corners of the market. UK-listed stocks, while earning much of what they do in dollars, underperformed its peers. Gold had a very disappointing year as far as its strongest supporters are concerned. And the fixed income market is starting to show signs of pricing in a rate rise, even if that is, admittedly, looking a while off yet. 

Turning back to this week, volumes are expected to be light into the New Year save for some unforeseen event. The numbers to watch out for are pending home sales (US) out today, and then PMI and consumer confidence (both US) tomorrow. Take note of an Italian bond auction expected today.

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