Monday February 15th


U.S. markets closed

U.S. stock markets are closed due to Presidents Day holiday. Japanese shares surged on Monday after last week's sharp sell-off, but Chinese stocks had a slow start, starting in negative territory before retracing some losses after markets re-opened after the week-long Lunar New Year holiday. The Nikkei 225 retraced losses from Friday to close up 1,069.97 points, or 7.16 percent, at 16,022.58. The smaller Topix surged 95.95 points, or 8.02 percent, to 1,292.23 at market close. The Nikkei had lost as much as 12.88 percent between February 1-12. In South Korea, the Kospi closed up 26.92 points, or 1.47 percent, at 1,862.20. In China, the Shanghai composite pared losses of more than 2 percent to close down 16.23 points, or 0.59 percent, at 2,747.26, while the smaller Shenzhen composite was flat. European markets traded sharply higher on Monday, as a recovery in banks and commodities helped offset concerns surrounding the weak trade data out of China. The pan-European STOXX 600 was trading over 3 percent, with all sectors posting gains of 2 percent or more. London's FTSE 100 was up over 2 percent, while its counterparts shot ahead. France's CAC 40 was up around 3.5 percent, while Germany's DAX was almost 3 percent up. Oil prices rose on Monday, extending a rally triggered last week by speculation that OPEC might agree to cut production to reduce a supply glut that has pushed prices to the lowest in over a decade. Brent crude futures, the global benchmark, were up 46 cents at $33.82 a barrel at 1232 GMT. U.S. futures traded at $30.02 a barrel, up 58 cents on Friday's close. Trade is likely to be thinner than usual on Monday due to the U.S. Presidents Day holiday. Gold fell more than 2 percent on Monday as a rebound in stock markets pointed to a sharper appetite for risk, pulling down prices further from last week's one-year high. The metal is coming off its strongest weekly rise in more than four years, having peaked at $1,260.60 an ounce on Thursday, its highest since Feb. 6 last year, as turmoil in global equities stoked safe-haven demand for the metal. After rallying $200 to last week's high from its January low, a retracement was to be expected, analysts said. Spot gold was down 2.2 percent at $1,209.50 an ounce at 1023 GMT, while U.S. gold futures for April delivery were down 2.3 percent or $28.80 an ounce at $1,210.80.