LONDON: European stock markets mostly gained Monday after holiday-thinned trade in Asia, as investors awaited US inflation data and other major economic releases due this week.
Another record close for the S&P 500 in New York on Friday did little to inspire buying Monday, with key markets in Asia shut for the Lunar New Year break.
Ahead of Tuesday’s US inflation print, Wall Street on Friday welcomed revised data showing the US consumer price index (CPI) cooling in December.
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That added to optimism that the Federal Reserve was on course to bring inflation under control, though observers were sceptical as to whether officials would cut US interest rates as early as markets expect.
“Indices will be waiting patiently for tomorrow’s US inflation data, with market predictions of a sharp… decline in the headline (January) CPI figure providing a potential tailwind for equities,” noted Joshua Mahony, chief market analyst at trading group Scope Markets.
In Europe, there is “UK-related economic news, as traders gear up for the release of employment, inflation, GDP and retail sales data”, he added.
Wall Street’s S&P 500 index finished Friday above 5,000 points for the first time, marking its 10th all-time high this year, boosted by share-price surges in tech titans Amazon, Apple and Microsoft following a strong earnings season.
But Asian investors were a little less enthusiastic, with Sydney, Bangkok, Mumbai and Wellington ending lower Monday – and Jakarta and Manila edging higher.
Tokyo, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Taipei, Seoul, Singapore and Kuala Lumpur were closed for the regional holiday season.
Oil prices fell before key market updates from the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries and International Energy Agency.
“This week sees both OPEC and the IEA release their latest monthly reports, with markets keeping a close eye out for any updated supply and demand forecasts,” said analyst Mahony.