Sydney - Investors took a step back after US shares rose to a record as the market moved toward the close of a turmoil-filled year. Oil extended its advance and the dollar weakened.
European equities declined after the benchmark index closed on Tuesday at its highest level in a year. The dollar retreated against most major currencies, falling from more than a 10-year high. Oil traded above $53.5 a barrel as data showed US stockpiles declined last week. Chinese stocks rebounded from a six-week low, led by state-owned enterprises amid optimism of a renewed reforms push.
Volumes are thinning and swings in global equities are muted, with a volatility gauge for European equities at the lowest since 2014.