European shares got off to a strong start to the week Monday, helped by a rebound in the wobbly Shanghai Composite index, though other markets in Asia were mostly lower.
KEEPING SCORE: Germany’s DAX gained 1.2 percent to 4,858.70 and the CAC 40 of France was up 1.0 percent. Britain’s FTSE 100 rose 0.7 percent to 5,848.09. U.S. markets are closed for a public holiday on Monday. But Dow futures were up 0.8 percent and S & P futures gained 0.7 percent, suggesting an improvement in sentiment following Friday’s rout on Wall Street.
CHINA ECONOMY: Fourth-quarter growth figures due Tuesday will likely show that strong consumer spending offset slowing investment, keeping growth in the last quarter at about 6.8 percent or higher, analysts say. But recent volatility in Chinese markets has overshadowed those trends toward stabilization in China’s growth picture.
THE QUOTE: “Nerves are still heavily focused on China as we approach a major economic data dump from China,” Angus Nicholson of IG said in a commentary. “However, the calmer waters seen in mainland [Chinese] equities seems to have stemmed some of the sell-off in other regional markets from the initial horror open seen in Australia and Japan.”
ASIA’S DAY: Japan’s Nikkei 225 fell 1.1 percent to 16,955.57 and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng lost 1.5 percent to 19,237.45. The Shanghai Composite rebounded from early losses, gaining 0.4 percent to 2,913.84 and South Korea’s Kospi was nearly unchanged at 1,878.45. Australia’s S & P/ASX 200 fell 0.7 percent to 4,858.70. Shares in Taiwan were higher but markets in New Zealand and Southeast Asia declined.
ENERGY: The nuclear deal between Iran, the United States and five other world powers took effect over the weekend, ending a European oil embargo on the world’s seventh-largest oil producer. That is reinforcing expectations that prices will remain weak as supply overwhelms demand. Benchmark U.S. crude was down $2.26 cents at $28.94 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract fell $1.78 on Friday to $29.42 a barrel. Brent crude, a benchmark for international oils, fell closed at $28.67 per barrel. It fell $1.94 to $28.94 in London on Friday.
CURRENCIES: The dollar rose to 117.33 yen from 117.00 yen. The euro fell to $1.0883 from $1.0913.