Dollar pulls back
US stock market was closed on Monday for New Year holiday. Stocks finished lower on Friday with the Dow Jones industrial average slipping 0.3% to 19762.60 but logging a 13.4% annual advance, best annual gain in 3 years. The Nasdaq fell 0.9% to 5383.12, posting 7.5% gain for the year. The dollar strengthened on the first trading day of the new year on Monday: the live dollar index data show the ICE US Dollar index, a measure of the dollar’s strength against a basket of six rival currencies, rose 0.5% to 102.823.
Italian Banca Monte dei Paschi will issue €15 billion of debt
European stocks ended higher on Monday led by banking stocks in thin trading as many traders remained out for New Year’s celebration. Both the euro and the British Pound weakened against the dollar on Monday. The Stoxx Europe 600 index rose 0.5%, with the Bank sector up 0.6%. Germany’s DAX 30 index outperformed advancing 1.0% to 11598.33. France’s CAC 40 rose 0.4% while markets were closed in London and trading will resume today.
China’s Caixin Manufacturing PMI rises more than expected in December
Asian stocks are extending gains today buoyed by data indicating solid factory growth in China and Europe. Chinese stocks are rising with the Shanghai Composite Index up 1.0% and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index gaining 0.7% after Caixin private business survey showed China's manufacturing activity expanded more than expected in December as demand accelerated, with output reaching a near six-year high. Starting on January 1, the Chinese central bank nearly doubled the number of foreign currencies in a basket used to set yuan’s value - to 24 from 13, with new entrants including the Korean won, the South African rand and the Mexican peso. Australian shares were the best performers in the region with Australia’s All Ordinaries Index up 1.2% despite a stronger Australian dollar. Markets in Japan were closed for an extended New Year holiday.
Oil prices advance
Oil future prices are rising today in the first trading session of 2017 as traders are hopeful major oil procures will fulfill their agreement on output cut. January 1 was the official start of the deal agreed by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and non-OPEC member countries such as Russia in November last year to reduce output by almost 1.8 million barrels per day. Non-OPEC member Russia's oil production in December remained unchanged at 11.21 million barrels per day (bpd), at its highest in almost 30 years, energy ministry data showed on Monday, but it was preparing to cut output by 300,000 bpd in the first half of 2017 as agreed in production cut accord. In 2016, output reached 547.499 million tonnes in total, or 10.96 million bpd, up from 10.72 million in 2015.
Gold poised for 2016 gain
Gold prices are extending gains today. Gold is poised to record a roughly 6% gain in 2016 whereas silver is up 14% driven by the higher haven demand in early 2016 due to surge in global economic uncertainty. Among other precious metals, platinum is 0.24% higher at $903.15 an ounce after adding 1.15% the previous day. Silver is down 0.11% to $15.91 an ounce following 0.8% gain in the previous session.