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GLOBAL MARKETS-Global stocks, oil lead risk rally on U.S. stimulus hopes

* FTSE 100 leads Europe stock gainers on Brexit deal

* U.S. stock futures point to 0.4% gain at the open

* Oil futures recover on hope for higher demand

* Graphic: World FX rates in 2020 tmsnrt.rs/2RBWI5E

LONDON, Dec 29 (Reuters) - Global shares rose for the fourth straight day on Tuesday and oil followed suit as hopes of fresh U.S. stimulus teed up a strong end to the year for riskier assets and had the dollar eyeing two-and-a-half-year lows.

The MSCI World Index was up 0.4% at 1203 GMT, while U.S. stock futures pointed to a similar move at the open on Wall Street, tracking broad-based gains in Europe and overnight in Asia.

Across Europe, Britain’s blue-chip shares led regional markets higher on their first day of trading since the Christmas Eve agreement of a trade deal with the European Union.

The FTSE 100 rose 2.1%, on course for its fourth straight day of gains, led by companies in a range of sectors likely to benefit from the deal, including Intertek and Diageo.

“Multinationals, who are the likeliest beneficiaries of frictionless, tariff-free trade, and overseas currency earners are generally leading the charge in the FTSE 100,” said Russ Mould, investment director at AJ Bell.

Propping up the London market were banks and other financial services.

“This suggests that nerves remain over what deal will be struck in 2021 when it comes to financial services and indeed services overall.”

Also among the gainers was drugmaker AstraZeneca buoyed by news its COVID-19 vaccine is set to be granted emergency use approval within a few days by the UK government.

The launch of the European Union’s vaccination programme, hoping to end the widespread lockdowns that have stalled economies across the bloc, saw that positive sentiment shared with the continent, where beaten-down travel and leisure stocks rose 2.3%.

The global stock gains and likely higher U.S. stock market open remain underpinned by hopes a $2.3 trillion stimulus package signed into law by President Trump on Sunday will be approved by the Senate.

The package covers $1.4 trillion in spending to fund government agencies and $892 billion in COVID-19 relief, including $2,000 relief cheques to help cushion the economic impact of the pandemic.

The prospect of higher demand helped boost oil prices with Brent crude futures and U.S. West Texas Intermediate both up around 1.2%.

Demand for riskier assets weakened the U.S. dollar, which is often seen as a safe-haven asset. It was down 0.2% against a basket of currencies and eyeing the 18-month low hit in November.

Shorting the dollar has been a popular trade. Calculations by Reuters based on data released by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission on Monday suggested that trend would persist. Short positions on the dollar swelled in the week ended Dec. 21 to $26.6 billion, the highest in three months.

Among other currencies, sterling rose 0.4% against the dollar, reversing two days of losses, while the euro climbed for the third day in a row, up 0.3%, also buoyed in part by talk of an EU-China trade pact.

Yields on European government debt edged lower, with blue-chip 10-year German bond yields at 0.57% and riskier Italian, Spanish and Portuguese yields also lower.

A sluggish dollar bolstered gold prices, which rose 0.4%.

Editing by Larry King

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