Monday January 20th


European stocks slightly lower as caution returns ahead of Davos

European markets traded slightly lower on Monday as policymakers and business leaders gather in Davos, Switzerland for the annual World Economic Forum (WEF) conference. The pan-European Stoxx 600 slipped 0.2% lower, with household goods falling 0.8% to lead losses while oil and gas stocks climbed 0.3%, after two production bases in Libya began shutting down amid a military blockade. Stocks in major Asian markets were mostly higher on Monday, with the People’s Bank of China (PBoC) keeping the loan prime rate (LPR) unchanged. Mainland Chinese stocks saw gains on the day, with the Shanghai composite up 0.66% to about 3,095.79 while the Shenzhen composite was 1.311% higher at around 1,829.95. The Shenzhen component also gained 1.47% to 11,115.88. The Hang Seng index in Hong Kong, however, slipped 0.6% as of its final hour of trading. In Japan, the Nikkei 225 rose 0.18% to close at 24,083.51 despite shares of index heavyweight Fast Retailing falling 1.58%. The Topix index also advanced 0.5% to finish its trading day at 1,744.16. South Korea’s Kospi added 0.54% to close at 2,262.64. Gold prices rose to their highest in more than a week on Monday, after a missile attack in Yemen over the weekend fanned geopolitical concerns and boosted the metal’s safe-haven appeal, while buying ahead of the Chinese New Year also lent support. Spot gold was up 0.3% at $1,560.89 per ounce by 0726 GMT, after touching its highest since Jan. 10 at $1,562.51 earlier in the session. U.S. gold futures were flat at $1,560.50. The US markets are closed due to Martin Luther King day.