Global Stock markets kick off week with solid gains

European and Asian stock markets rose solidly on Monday following healthy pre-weekend gains on Wall Street.

The advances helped take another bite out of the big losses suffered at the start of February, which were sparked by concerns that rising US inflation could lead to faster-than-expected interest rate rises in the world's biggest economy.

Those worries were eased somewhat Friday when the Federal Reserve, in its semi-annual report to Congress, said inflation remains subdued globally and it expects to raise borrowing costs three times this year — tempering speculation of four increases.

However, analysts warn that equity valuations remain elevated and volatility could still return.

After Tokyo's main stocks index closed up more than one percent, Europe's leading indices pushed higher albeit with lesser gains.

Around 1000 GMT, London's benchmark FTSE 100 index was up 0.3 percent compared with Friday's closing level.

In the Eurozone, Frankfurt's DAX 30 and Paris CAC 40 indices each grew 0.6 percent.

“The FTSE has opened the new week in positive territory, putting last week's losses behind it,” said Fiona Cincotta, senior market analyst at City Index trading group.

“The stronger start comes after a broadly upbeat overnight session in Asia and following a strong finish to the previous week Wall Street.”

All three main Wall Street indices powered higher Friday, with the Dow up 1.4 percent, S&P 500 winning 1.6 percent and NASDAQ jumping 1.8 percent.

Monday's positivity meanwhile kicks off a busy week, with the release of key US data including economic growth, jobs creation and wages.

Also, new Fed boss Jerome Powell will speak before a key finance committee. Markets will pore over his comments for clues about plans for monetary policy — though many predict he will stick to the path of his predecessor Janet Yellen.

In foreign exchange, the dollar eased after climbing Friday on the back of the Fed comments, with the yen and pound rallying.

However, the euro's gains are being curbed by uncertainty ahead of weekend elections in Italy, one of the Eurozone's biggest economies.

Oil prices dipped following gains at the end of last week on a surprise drop in US stockpiles and as a key terminal in major producer Libya suffered disruption from protests.

Downward pressure has come from Saudi Arabia predicting that an output cap by OPEC and Russia could be eased next year, traders said.

Key figures around 1000 GMT –

London – FTSE 100: UP 0.3 percent at 7,267.30 points

Frankfurt – DAX 30: UP 0.6 percent at 12,554.7

Paris – CAC 40: UP 0.6 percent at 5,348.35

EURO STOXX 50: UP 0.6 percent at 3,460.33

Tokyo – Nikkei 225: UP 1.2 percent at 22,153.63 (close)

Hong Kong – Hang Seng: UP 0.74 percent at 31,498.60 (close)

Shanghai – Composite: UP 1.2 percent at 3,329.57 (close)

New York – DOW: UP 1.4 percent at 25,309.99 (close)

Euro/dollar: UP at $1.2346 from $1.2295 at 2130 GMT

Pound/dollar: UP at $1.4060 from $1.3968

Dollar/yen: DOWN at 106.59 yen from 106.83 yen

Oil – Brent North Sea: DOWN eight cents at $67.23 per barrel

Oil – West Texas Intermediate: DOWN five cents at $63.50.

Posted on: 2018-02-26T16:32:00+05:00