World Economy

Global Markets Start Week Higher

Global Markets Start  Week HigherGlobal Markets Start  Week Higher

European stocks gained ground in morning trading Monday, following Asian markets higher ahead of a busy week.

The Stoxx Europe 600 index was up 0.7% in European midmorning trading. US equity futures followed, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average up 0.3%, and S&P 500 futures up 0.3%, Dow Jones reported. 

Among other events this week, investors will be focused on the start of formal Brexit negotiations and a decision on whether to include China's domestically traded A-shares in its benchmark emerging-market index, which is widely followed. 

On Sunday, France's legislative elections confirmed an outright majority for French President Emmanuel Macron's centrist La Republique en Marche and its centrist ally. French stocks led gains at the open, with the country's CAC 40 index up by 1%. 

There was little reaction to the election in government bond markets. The spread between France and Germany's 10-year government bond yields tightened slightly, to around 0.35 percentage point. 

In Asia, Nikkei Stock Average closed up 0.6%, with a softer yen aiding a move back above 20,000 points. Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index gained 1%, and the Shanghai Composite Index rose 0.7%. 

Most emerging Asian currencies edged up on Monday, with the Korean won leading gains as the dollar was subdued by questions over the strength of the US economy after weak economic data. 

In other currencies, the Taiwanese dollar appreciated 0.2% against the dollar. The Chinese yuan drifted marginally higher to 6.812, remaining on track to end a two-day losing streak against the dollar. The Thai baht nudged higher, continuing its strong performance against the dollar this year which has made it Southeast Asia's best performing currency. 

The WSJ Dollar Index was roughly flat at 88.45, up 0.05%. The euro was flat against the greenback at $1.119, while the yen dropped 0.2%. 

Late Friday, data from the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission showed investors taking long positions on the euro once again. Speculators held 79,053 more long than short contracts in the week to June 16, the largest long position since 2011. 

In the commodities market, oil prices pulled back in Asia after ending in positive territory last week. July Nymex was down 0.4% at $44.54 a barrel, while August Brent fell 0.3% to $47.22. 

Data out Friday afternoon in the US showed another week of rising active US oil-drilling rigs, but some traders say at this level, prices may be close to a floor. 

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