A gauge of global equities surged on Thursday as Wall Street rallied on hopes the Omicron COVID-19 variant will prove mild and will not halt a strongly recovering U.S. economy, while the dollar edged higher in choppy trading as risk appetite improved.

The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits rose less than expected last week while layoffs tumbled to a 28-1/2 year low in November, both signs of tightening U.S. labor market conditions amid an accelerating economy.

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