Australia’s stock benchmark didn’t partake in the gains seen across Asia, with the market hurt in part by the end-of-week skid in oil prices. The S&P/ASX 200 finished down 0.3% at 5820.7 after briefly getting positive territory ahead of the close. It’s a fresh 4-month low for the index, now down 4% this year. The energy sector ended down 0.4%, well off session lows, thanks to oil prices rebounding some in Asia. That allowed financial to log an even-bigger decline at 0.6% with Australia’s big banks hit by the start of hearings into the industry.
U.S. stocks bounced higher Monday following two bruising weeks, lifted by a rally in shares of oil-and-gas companies.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped 411 points, or 1.6%, to 24602, following its largest one-week percentage decline in more than two years. The S&P 500 rose 1.4% and the Nasdaq Composite added 1.5%.
Monday’s gains were broad, lifting 10 of the S&P 500’s 11 sectors higher for the day.
Still, major stock indexes remain sharply lower for the month, following a heavy bout of selling that analysts and investors have attributed to failed bets on low stock market volatility, rising bond yields and concerns about a possible pickup in inflation.
Gold prices rose Monday, supported by muted moves in Treasury yields and the dollar.
Front-month gold for February delivery added 0.8% to $1,324.20 a troy ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. Prices fell last week despite a surge
in stock-market volatility, with some analysts attributing the declines to investors selling gold to raise money for their bets on stocks and concerns about higher interest rates. Gold is a haven asset that some investors favor when they think markets might turn rocky.
Among base metals, front-month copper for February delivery added 1.8% to $3.0775 a pound. The industrial metal stumbled last week alongside stocks, oil and other risk assets amid inventory concerns and is 5.4% off its four-year highs from late December. Still, some investors expect prices to rise, supported by strong demand based on global economic growth and the prospect of supply disruptions.
Ongoing drought in the U.S. Plains pushed wheat prices higher too. CBOT March soft-red winter wheat futures rose 3.3% to $4.64 a bushel, while Kansas City- and Minneapolis-based contracts also climbed.
In other markets, March raw sugar added 0.4% to 13.73 cents a pound and March cotton declined 0.3% to 76.45 cents a pound.
Oil edged up Monday, tracking gains in the U.S. stock market after a drop last week, but prices for the U.S. benchmark still settled near the session’s lows. In a monthly report Monday, the Energy Information Administration said it expects to see a further
rise in domestic shale-oil production next month. March WTI rose 9 cents, or nearly 0.2%, to settle at $59.29 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude for April delivery lost 20 cents per barrel, or 0.32%, to $62.59.
The U.S. dollar slipped Monday as global stocks rebounded after two weeks of sharp declines.
The Wall Street Journal Dollar Index, which measures the U.S. currency against a basket of 16 others, was recently down 0.1% at 84.15.
U.S. stocks bounced Monday after falling more than 5% last week. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was recently up 1.8%.
A backfire in bets on low stock market volatility and concerns about rising inflation triggered two weeks of market turbulence and pushed some haven-seeking investors into the dollar. The U.S. currency is up more than 1% this month, after hitting its lowest level in more than three years.
Despite Monday’s losses, some investors believe the U.S. currency will continue to benefit from market gyrations in coming days.
Europe’s Stoxx Europe 600 index closed up 1.2% at 372.93, tracking a recovery in U.S. stocks after last week’s sharp falls. Germany’s DAX index ended up 1.45%, while France’s CAC 40 was up 1.2% and the U.K.’s FTSE 100 up 1.2%. Spain’s IBEX 35 closed up 1.4%, while gains in Italian stocks were less pronounced, with the FTSE MIB up 0.8% as investors stay wary before Italy’s March 4 elections. Italian banks were among the biggest fallers.
Shenzhen, home to smaller-cap stocks in China, led gains in Asia on Monday. The Shenzhen Composite jumped 2.6% and the startup-heavy ChiNext Price Index rose 3.5% after both logged declines of at least 6% in each of the past two weeks.
Over the weekend, state-run media reported that the period of
South Korea’s Kospi closed up 0.9%, helped by a 2.3% rise in Samsung, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng reversed gains late in the session to edged down 0.2%.
Markets in Tokyo were shut for a holiday on Monday. Trading volumes are expected to be lower in many Asian stock markets this week due to the coming Lunar New Year holiday.