Most Asian stocks climbed Thursday and the pound advanced as an outline of the post-Brexit trade deal appeared to soothe investor nerves heading into the Christmas holiday period.

Shares rose in Australia, Japan and South Korea. US equity futures edged up after the S&P 500 finished on Wednesday just 0.1% higher with the Nasdaq Composite and Russell 2000 indexes setting intraday records. Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. sank more than 8% in Hong Kong after China kicked off an investigation into alleged monopolistic practices at the tech giant.

Treasuries were steady after the gap between 5- and 30-year yields widened Wednesday to a four-year high. Some equity markets will shut early Thursday for Christmas holidays and then most will be closed Friday.

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