World Economy

Europe Shares Rise, Asia Lower

Europe Shares Rise, Asia LowerEurope Shares Rise, Asia Lower

European shares started the week strongly on Monday, buoyed by a weaker euro, while the dollar rose after upbeat jobs data on Friday bolstered investor confidence in the strength of the US economy.

Earlier, Asian shares edged lower as investors looked to Chinese economic data due late this week which is expected to show the world’s second-largest economy is still sluggish, Reuters reported.

Crude oil prices fell towards their lowest levels of the year after OPEC failed to agree on output targets that could cut a global glut.

Investors are caught between the European Central Bank’s moves last week to stimulate growth and inflation, which disappointed many, and next week’s US Federal Reserve policy meeting, at which interest rates are expected to rise for the first time since 2006.

The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 stocks index rose 1.5%, boosted by healthcare stocks and as a weaker euro lifted exporters. Germany’s exporter-driven DAX added 2.2%. European shares closed at three-week lows on Friday after the euro soared in reaction to Thursday’s ECB decision.

Asian investors worried about Chinese trade date due on Tuesday, inflation the following day, and industrial output and retail sales figures on Saturday.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan dipped 0.3%. Japan’s Nikkei closed 1% higher, thanks to a weaker yen, having lost 2.2% on Friday.

In China, the CSI300 index of the largest listed companies in Shanghai and Shenzhen rose 0.3%, as did the Shanghai Composite.

In currency markets, the dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of currencies, rose 0.6%. The euro, which took its biggest daily gain in seven years on Thursday on disappointment at the ECB’s easing package, fell 0.8% to $1.08.

The yen fell 0.3% to 123.45 per dollar. New Zealand’s dollar fell 1.2% against its US equivalent before a central bank meeting on Thursday at which interest rate cuts are on the table.

Meanwhile, Brent crude oil fell 45 cents to $42.55 a barrel, not far from its 2015 low of $42.23 hit in August.

Dollar strength helped knock gold off a three-week high, trading at $1,081.30, having risen as far as $1,088.70 on Friday.