European stocks climb on German vote, oil prices rise
European stock markets rose Monday after a tight result in Germany’s general election, but the prospect of drawn-out coalition talks weighed on the euro.
On the other side of the Atlantic, share prices on Wall Street opened higher as investors look ahead to the release of a range of different data later this week.
Brent oil prices jumped close to a three-year high just short of $80 a barrel on concerns about tightening supplies, boosting shares in energy companies.
The blue-chip DAX index in Frankfurt rose 0.4 percent after Finance Minister Olaf Scholz’s centre-left Social Democrats won a tight election over the conservatives of outgoing Chancellor Angela Merkel.
The London and Paris stock markets rose by 0.1 percent and 0.3 percent, respectively.
The European single currency briefly ducked under $1.17.
“Despite the relative comfort surrounding a probable coalition of moderate parties, the current uncertainty and the protracted nature of forming a new government has contributed to the euro taking minor losses against other major currencies,” said MoneyCorp analysts in a note to investors.
Investors also kept a nervous eye on developments in the crisis at troubled Chinese property giant Evergrande as it teeters on the brink and threatens contagion.
– ‘Most likely outcome’ –
“While last week started with stock markets being shaken by the Evergrande situation, this week is starting with some upward moves after the SPD party secured a win in the German federal elections,” said XTB analyst Walid Koudmani.
“Despite positive sentiment in markets, this was the most likely outcome and did not come as much of a shock to investors.”
Holger Schmieding, chief economist at Berenberg Bank, said that businesses breathed “a big sigh of relief” that the far-left Die Linke party is unlikely to enter government after a poor performance.
London stocks were dampened by an ongoing shortage of petrol or gasoline that has been sparked by panic-buying at fuel stops across Britain.
In commodity markets, Brent North Sea oil spiked in Asian trade to $79.52 per barrel on supply woes.
That was the highest level since October 23, 2018.
– ‘Oil demand not met’ –
“The world’s demand is not being met with enough supplies and this has pushed Brent towards $80,” said Exinity analyst Hussein Sayed.
“Inventories across all continents are dropping as we head into the (northern hemisphere) winter season.”
Asian equity markets mostly rose, though investors eyed ongoing Evergrande worries.
Hong Kong was among the best performers on bargain-buying after suffering a blow-out last week, though traders were still none the wiser about whether Evergrande paid interest on an offshore bond that was due last Thursday.
Hong Kong edged up but Evergrande’s electric-vehicle unit slumped by more than nine percent after it scrapped a proposed listing on the Shanghai Stock Exchange and warned it was running out of cash.
Tokyo was flat, days ahead of a leadership election in Japan’s ruling party to replace Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, with optimism that the winner will push for a huge new stimulus for the stuttering economy.
Bitcoin held around $44,000, having largely recovered over the weekend from a plunge below $40,000 that came in reaction to news that China deemed all financial transactions involving cryptocurrencies illegal.
– Key figures around 1345 GMT –
Frankfurt – DAX: UP 0.4 percent at 15,588.93 points
London – FTSE 100: UP 0.1 percent at 7,056.54
Paris – CAC 40: UP 0.3 percent at 6,661.22
EURO STOXX 50: UP 0.3 percent at 4,169.46
New York – Dow: UP 0.6 percent at 35,020.22
Tokyo – Nikkei 225: FLAT at 30,240.06 (close)
Hong Kong – Hang Seng Index: UP 0.1 percent at 24,208.78 (close)
Shanghai – Composite: DOWN 0.8 percent at 3,582.83 (close)
Euro/dollar: DOWN at $1.1700 from $1.1720 at 2100 GMT on Friday
Pound/dollar: UP at $1.3704 from $1.3679
Euro/pound: DOWN at 85.35 pence from 85.68 pence
Dollar/yen: UP at 110.87 yen from 110.73 yen
Brent North Sea crude: UP 2.1 percent at $79.77 per barrel
West Texas Intermediate: UP 2.1 percent at $75.59 per barrel