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U.S. markets closed higher on Friday after 5 losing days with consumer sentiment at the highest in 11 years in January before being closed today for a bank holiday. Friday's data showed U.S. household confidence rose on a strengthening job market and slumping fuel costs. The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan preliminary consumer sentiment index rose to 98.2 in January from a final reading of 93.6 in December, exceeding expectations for an increase to 94.2. That was the highest level since January 2004. The DOW JONES index added +1.10%, rising 190 points, closing at 17,511.57. The S&P 500 rose by +1.34% with a final quote of 2,019.42, regaining the level of 2,000 points with all sectors being positive. The energy sector led gains.
Chinese stock markets slumped the most in 6-years on Monday as regulators rein in record margin lending. Two of the biggest listed security firms were suspended from lending money to new trading clients. Hong Kong's Hang Seng is trading -1.62% at 23,713.02 points. China's Shanghai Composite closed at 3,116.44 points, a slump of -7.70% with 100 stocks retreating the maximum allowed. The index has risen 2.8% last week, a tenth week of consecutive gains.
Japan's Nikkei rose on Monday after solid U.S. data and a weaker Japanese yen fuelling exporter shares. The index closed +0.89% at 17,014.29 points recovering from a 2-1/2-month low hit on Friday. Data on Japanese Industrial Production for November was better than expected with a decline by -0.5%, analysts expected -0.6%. On a yearly basis Industrial Production had a reading of -3.7% versus the estimated -3.8%. Consumer Confidence rose to 38.8 beating forecasts of 38.6 and a previous reading of 37.7 in November. The BOJ policy meeting will start tomorrow to decide on further stimulus measures after it's unprecedented bond-buying program starter in October last year.
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