In European Equity Markets indices moved slightly higher on average Monday, as market participants continued to monitor trade talks between the world's two largest economies. The pan-European Stoxx 600 finished up 0.21 percent, with sectors and major bourses pointing in opposite directions. Europe's telecom stocks led the gains on Monday, up around 1 percent amid a flurry of rating upgrades. Switzerland's Sunrise was among the top performers after Berenberg upgraded the stock to "buy" from "hold." Shares of the company rose more than 3.4 percent.
In Currency Markets the euro rallied and riskier currencies like the Australian dollar strengthened on Monday as optimism over a breakthrough in talks to end a U.S.-China trade war encouraged investors. The euro has been stuck in a trading range against the dollar for several months as growing weakness in the euro zone economy offset dwindling expectations the Federal Reserve will raise U.S. interest rates again this year. The euro ticked 0.3 percent higher to as high as $1.1334. Sterling gained 0.3 percent to $1.2928 , up from last week’s one-month lows.
In Commodities Markets oil rose for a fifth day on Monday, on track for its strongest first quarter in eight years, thanks to a growing belief among investors that OPEC’s supply cuts will prevent a build-up in unused fuel, though concern over China’s economy tempered gains. Brent futures were last up 22 cents at $66.47 a barrel, having touched a 2019 high of $66.83, while U.S. futures rose 35 cents to $55.94 a barrel. Oil has risen nearly 25 percent so far this year and is on course for its strongest first-quarter performance since 2011.
In US Equity Markets trading activity is closed due to President's Day holiday.
In Bond Markets short-dated Italian government bonds outperformed on Monday, their yields falling the most among euro zone bonds to lead a rally in the periphery, on expectations of more monetary stimulus from the European Central Bank. Italy’s 10-year bond yield fell to a two-week low of 2.75 percent before settling at 2.77 percent. Spain’s 10-year government bond yield was also down one basis point to 1.234 percent. Elsewhere, Germany’s 10-year government bond, the benchmark for the region, edged higher to 0.11 percent after falling as low as 0.07 percent on Feb. 8.