Shares steady

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    SYDNEY- World shares paused to assess a record-busting month on Monday as the prospect of a vaccine-driven economic recovery next year and yet more free money from central banks eclipsed concerns about the coronavirus pandemic in the near-term.

    Helping sentiment was a survey showing factory activity in China handily beat forecasts in November, leaving blue chips 6.6 percent higher for the month.

    The rush to risk has benefited oil and industrial commodities while undermining the safe-haven dollar and gold.

    “November looks set to be an awesome month for equity investors with Europe leading the charge at a country/regional level,” said NAB analyst Rodrigo Catril.

    Many European bourses are boasting their best month ever with France up 21 percent and Italy almost 26 percent. The MSCI measure of world stocks is up 13 percent for November so far, while the S&P 500 has climbed 11 percent to all-time peaks.

    Early Monday, MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan held steady, to be up more than 11 percent for the month in its best performance since late 2011.

    Japan’s Nikkei firmed 0.1 percent, bringing its gains for the month to 16 percent for the largest rise since 1994.

    E-Mini futures for the S&P 500 dipped 0.2 percent, and NASDAQ futures edged up 0.1 percent.