In European Equity Markets the pan-European Stoxx 600 closed up more than 0.3% after hitting a record high earlier in the session. Autos climbed 1.2% to lead gains while tech stocks bucked the risk-on trend to fall 0.3%. Corporate earnings remain in focus. French auto parts maker Faurecia said market conditions would be tough in 2020 despite reporting a rise in full-year net profit and sales on Monday morning. Faurecia stock climbed 6%, while Italy’s Interpump Group led individual stock gains with a 7.6 % rise.
In Currency Markets the euro struggled near 3-year lows on Monday as investors worried about weakening growth in the region, while Chinese efforts to limit the damage from a coronavirus outbreak appeared to calm markets, with the yuan and Australian dollar supported. The euro inched higher to $1.0836 after earlier falling to $1.0817, its weakest since mid-2017. The currency has lost 2.3% of its value against the dollar so far in February. The Australian dollar held firm as investors assessed the latest reading on the coronavirus in China.
In Commodities Markets oil prices were little changed on Monday as concerns over the economic fallout from the coronavirus outbreak in China were offset by hopes that potential output cuts from major producers could tighten crude supply. Brent crude was at $57.18 a barrel, down 14 cents, after rising 5.2% last week, its biggest weekly gain since September 2019. U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude fell 1 cent to $52.04 a barrel, after a 3.4% gain last week.
In US Equity Markets trading activity was closed for President’s Day holiday.
In Bond Markets government bond yields in the euro area were mostly steady on Monday, reflecting a strong degree of caution as markets assess the damage inflicted on the world economy by the coronavirus outbreak. Germany’s 10-year bond yield was steady at -0.40% , having risen to -0.378% earlier. Most other 10-year yields in the euro area were also flat after rising by between 1 and 2 basis points in early trade. Having risen on Friday, Italy’s 10-year yield was down 2 bps basis points at 0.90%.