Oil prices expanded their wide profits last week on Monday, helped by a drop for the eleventh week in a row in U.S. oil rigs last week to their lowest levels since 2009, helping ease worries over the persistent supply glut in America and the world, while a five-year plan by China's government to stimulate growth brightened the overall global sentiment.
Brent crude futures jumped over 70 cents, or 1.86% to trade at $39.44 a barrel, the highest since early December, and edging nearly the coveted level of $40, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures gained 64 cents, or 1.81% to hover around $36.56 a barrel.
Commodity shares rose across the board in Asia, nudging stock markets higher, with Australian shares climbing above one percent, while China's Shanghai index added 0.20%. South Korea's KOSPI index edged up 0.15%, while Japan's Nikkei missed the upward current, sliding 0.61% to below 17,000 again.
Precious metals gave up ground as investors moved towards riskier and more rewarding assets like stocks, with gold futures falling eight dollars, or 0.61% to trade at $1,263 an ounce, while similarly, silver futures skidded nearly ten cents, or 0.60% to hover around $15.58 an ounce, but remained near highs hit last week.
The Forex market was largely flat today, with the dollar index creeping 0.09% higher, while the euro inched 0.12% lower versus its American rival to trade at 1.0993. Japan's yen advanced about 0.10% against the dollar to 113.69, while Britain's pound dipped 0.12% to hover around 1.4211, but remained strongly away from multi-year lows hit last week.
Investors wait for an array of data today, with German factory orders expected to drop yet again by 0.4% m/m in January, added to December's 0.7% tumble, which would add to pressures on the ECB to expand its stimulus measures, pushing the common currency lower.
From the U.S., consumer credit, a survey intended to measure the state of spending and loans in the economy, is expected to slide to $16.8 billion in January from December's $21.3 billion, a bad sign for the economy's first quarter's GDP growth.