In European Equity Markets stocks closed lower on Monday, erasing earlier gains seen on the back of trade talks between the U.S. and China. The pan-European Stoxx 600 closed down 0.3 percent, with sectors pointing in different directions. Technology was the best performer, up 1.5 percent, while the worst performing sector was household goods, which shed 1.1 percent. Centrica ended the session down by more than 4 percent, as Jefferies said the owner of British Gas will likely see earnings come under pressure this year.

 

In Currency Markets sterling rose to a one-week high on Monday as traders prepared for Britain’s parliament to reconvene this week and debate Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit withdrawal agreement. The pound’s strength – as high as $1.2787, up 0.4 percent on the day, before settling at $1.2750 – was largely down to dollar weakness, with a recovery in global risk sentiment since Friday knocking demand for the U.S. currency. Against a broadly stronger euro the pound shed 0.4 percent to 89.91 pence.

 

In Commodities Markets oil prices climbed about 3 percent on Monday, rebounding further from 1-1/2-year lows reached in December on support from OPEC production cuts and steadying equities markets. Brent crude futures rose $1.47 to $58.53 a barrel, a 2.6 percent gain. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures rose $1.56 to $49.52 a barrel, a 3.3 percent gain. Oil futures have gained about 10 percent since last Monday. Copper prices steadied on Monday after the biggest rise in three months in the previous session.

 

In US Equity Markets stocks rose on Monday as gains in the technology and consumer discretionary sectors helped extend Friday’s rally, with investors focused on the ongoing U.S.-China trade talks. The S&P 500 was up 23.97 points, or 0.95 percent, at 2,555.91 and the Nasdaq Composite  was up 93.60 points, or 1.39 percent, at 6,832.46. Dollar Tree Inc  jumped 5.7 percent after activist investor Starboard Value LP called on the company to sell its under-performing Family Dollar business and proposed replacing a majority of its board

 

In Bond Markets U.S. Treasury prices gained on Monday, partially reversing Friday’s losses, as investors evaluated the likelihood of further Federal Reserve rate hikes this year and as the United States and China resumed trade talks. Benchmark 10-year notes gained 3/32 in price to yield 2.650 percent, from 2.659 percent on Friday. Interest rate futures traders are now pricing in a partial rate cut for this year, while the Fed has indicated that two rate hikes are likely.

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