Shares in Asia-Pacific were mixed in Monday trade, with European stocks also expected to follow suits, ahead of a week packed with major earnings releases.
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index rose around 0.1% by the afternoon, and the mainland Chinese stocks were also higher, with the Shanghai composite gaining 0.38%. South Korea’s KOSPI gained 0.36%, and the stocks in Australia also edged higher, with the S&P/ASX 200 up 0.40%.
Japan’s Nikkei 225 slipped 0.85%, the Straits Times index in Singapore shed 0.11%, and the S&P BSE Sensex in India declined 0.42%.
Oil prices rose on Monday, as global supply remained tight on strong demand worldwide, as economies recover from coronavirus pandemic-induced slumps. Oil prices have also been bolstered by worries about coal and gas shortages in China, India, and Europe, which spurred fuel-switching to diesel and fuel oil for power.
The Brent now traded at $86.23 per barrel, hitting a new three-year high and U.S. crude futures traded at $84.63 per barrel, a new seven-month high.
On Friday last week, the Brent ends at $85.53 a barrel, and the WTI settled at $83.76 per barrel.
The dollar steadied on Monday, as traders wary on U.S. growth data and an ECB meeting. The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 93.522, not far from its month low of 93.455 hit last week, and well-off mid-October's 12-month high.
The yields on 10-year Treasury notes were last 1.645%, eased off a five-month high of 1.706% last week.
Bitcoin was last at $61,909, up 1.5% after last week's turbulent trade when it hit a new high of $66,974.
Gold prices held steady on Monday. Spot gold rose 0.40% to $1,799.10 an ounce, and U.S. gold futures added 0.18% to $1,799.50.
Spot silver gained 0.47% to $24.56 per ounce. Platinum slipped 0.17% to $1,050.30 per ounce and palladium shed 0.30% to $2,029.50.
Asian stocks were mixed on Monday. Investors are cautious ahead of a week packed with major quarterly earnings announcements, while a fresh COVID-19 outbreak in China added to worries about slowing growth.
The COVID-19 situation in China weighs on investor sentiment after an official warned that the outbreak could spread further. China, already struggling with a power crunch and crisis in its real estate sector, on Sunday warned that its latest COVID-19 outbreak - across 11 provinces - was likely to spread further, with authorities discouraging travel to contain it.
Shares in China Evergrande Group traded higher after its chairman signals business shift, giving future priority to its electric vehicles business over real estate. The company last week appeared to avert a costly default with a last-minute bond coupon payment.
Traders are waiting for U.S. Q3 GDP figures due Thursday. Markets are still trying to position themselves for a widely expected tapering of the U.S. stimulus programme this year, and the possibility of rate hikes late in 2022. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell on Friday said the U.S. central bank should start the process of reducing its support of the economy by cutting back on its asset purchases but should not yet touch interest rates.
Market participants also eyed the BoJ and the ECB meeting on Thursday. Neither of the two central banks are expected to change policy but market indicators suggested higher inflation than the ECB’s guidance.
In the earnings spotlight, Facebook will publish its quarterly results on Monday. Followed later in the week will be the turn of other benchmark heavyweights including tech giants Microsoft, Apple and Alphabet, and European and Asian financial behemoths from Deutsche Bank and Lloyds to China Construction Bank and Nomura.