Monday January 18th


European stocks mixed amid general market caution; FCA-PSA merger Stellantis jumps 6%

European stocks started the new trading week slightly lower on Monday, amid a pullback in global markets. The pan-European Stoxx 600 hovered around the flatline by mid-morning, utilities shedding 1.1% to lead losses while the tech sector climbed 0.6%. European markets are following a lackluster tone set elsewhere overnight and last week; shares in Asia-Pacific traded mixed Monday as investors in the region reacted to the latest Chinese growth data showing that its GDP rose 2.3% last year. That compared against economists expectations for GDP expansion by just over 2%. Still, other data showed that retail sales in the country declined, contracting 3.9% for the year. Meanwhile, U.S. stocks fell on Friday to close out a tough week as markets weighed President-elect Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion stimulus plan, along with the latest earnings from some of the biggest U.S. banks. Markets in the U.S. are closed on Monday for a holiday. The broader Kospi index in South Korea led losses among the region’s major markets as it dropped 2.33% to close at 3,013.93. Mainland Chinese stocks were higher on the day, with the Shanghai composite up 0.84% to 3,596.22 while the Shenzhen component advanced 1.58% to 15,269.27. The Hang Seng index in Hong Kong rose 0.87%, as of its final hour of trading. The Nikkei 225 in Japan fell 0.97% to close at 28,242.21 while the Topix index slipped 0.6% to finish its trading day at 1,845.49. Oil prices on Monday fell further from 11-month highs touched last week, ending a rally that started at end-October on production cuts and strong Chinese demand, with the market’s outlook questioned as coronavirus infections rise. Brent crude fell 30 cents, or 0.5%, to $54.79 a barrel by 0622 GMT, after dropping 2.3% on Friday. U.S. oil was down by 21 cents, or 0.4%, at $52.15 a barrel, having declined 2.3% in the previous trading session. Gold prices dropped to their lowest in 1-1/2 months on Monday, as a stronger U.S. dollar made bullion expensive for other currency holders, despite expectations of a large Covid-19 relief package in the United States. Spot gold fell 0.3% to $1,820.46 per ounce by 0048 GMT, having fallen to their lowest since Dec. 2, 2020 at $1,809.90 earlier in the session. U.S. gold futures eased 0.7% to $1,816.80.