Monday July 4th


European markets make positive start to the new trading week

European stocks climbed on Monday during a quieter day for global markets given the July Fourth holiday in the United States. The pan-European Stoxx 600 index added 0.9% by mid-afternoon, with oil and gas stocks jumping 3.8% to lead gains as most sectors and major bourses traded in positive territory. Tech stocks bucked the upward trend to fall 0.7%. Australian stocks rose more than 1% while Hong Kong and South Korean markets were lower on Monday ahead of Australia and Malaysia central bank decisions this week. The S&P/ASX 200 advanced 1.11% to end the session at 6,612.6, with banking and retail stocks in the green. Japan and mainland China markets were also higher. The Nikkei 225 in Japan pared earlier gains to close 0.84% up at 26,153.81, while the Topix index climbed 1.34% to 1,869.71. In China, the Shanghai Composite gained 0.53% to 3,405.43, and the Shenzhen Component rose 1.29% to 13,026.25. The Hang Seng index was closed on Friday and slipped as much as 1.8% in early trade on Monday. It was last down 0.31% in the final hour of trade. South Korea’s Kospi initially struggled for direction and was closed 0.22% down at 2,300.34, while the Kosdaq shed 0.93% to 722.73. Oil prices fell in early Asian trade on Monday, paring gains from the previous session as fears of global recession weighed on the market even as supply remains tight amid lower OPEC output, unrest in Libya and sanctions on Russia. Brent crude futures slipped 35 cents, or 0.3%, to $111.28 a barrel at 0016 GMT, having jumped 2.4% on Friday. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures similarly dropped 32 cents, or 0.3%, to $108.11 a barrel, after climbing 2.5% on Friday. Gold prices edged lower on Monday, as an elevated U.S. dollar hurt demand for greenback-priced bullion and also outweighed support from weakening Treasury yields. Spot gold was down 0.2% at $1,807.19 per ounce, as of 0101 GMT, after hitting a five-month low of $1,783.50 on Friday. U.S. gold futures fell 0.5% to $1,809.50.