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European Stocks Edge Lower; U.S. Markets & Most of Asia Closed

European Stocks Edge Lower; U.S. Markets & Most of Asia Closed
The Stoxx Europe 600 index fell for the first time in four days as auto and consumer stocks dropped.
Feb 20, 2018 By Simon Herrmann Tags: Stocks for Breakfast

European markets were the center of investor attention on Monday as U.S. stocks and Treasuries take a break for Presidents’ Day holiday and markets in Hong Kong and China remain closed for the Lunar New Year. The continent’s equity gauge has trailed its American counterpart since a global selloff earlier this month, partly thanks to a jump in the euro.

The Stoxx Europe 600 index fell for the first time in four days as auto and consumer stocks dropped. That contrasted with Asia, where equities built on their best week since September 2016, spurred by a jump in Japanese stocks after the yen weakened. German bunds retreated with most European bonds and the euro fluctuated.

The Stoxx Europe 600 Index dipped 0.6 percent, while the MSCI World Index of developed countries declined 0.1 percent in the absence of trading in the U.S.

In commodities, West Texas Intermediate crude climbed 1.3 percent to $62.5 a barrel, extending last week's gains and gold gained less than 0.05 percent to $1,346.36 an ounce.

$258 Billion in Treasury Bills to Be Auctioned

As the week rolls on the U.S. Treasury will open the borrowing floodgates, and it’ll be up to bond traders to signal how much that extra supply will cost American taxpayers. The Treasury will pack in auctions totaling $258 billion this week, including record-sized sales of three- and six-month bills.

Source: Bloomberg, Iress, Reuters, SMH, wise-owl

ASX Set Follow Europe Lower

Australian stocks look set to open lower after European equities declined overnight in a quiet session amid several public holiday. ASX Futures were down a hefty 34 points - essentially erasing Monday's gains - but may recover throughout the morning, subject to the local earnings season and the RBA minutes.

Reporting season remains in full swing with BHP Billiton (BHP), G8 Education (GEM), Greencross (GXL), Northern Star Resources (NST) or Vocus (VOC) due to report today.

The S&P/ASX 200 index managed to eke out a gain of 37 points, or 0.6 per cent, to end at 5941 while the All Ordinaries index climbed 39 points, or 0.7 per cent, to 6044.

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Simon Herrmann Author: Simon Herrmann Feb 20, 2018

Simon is a financial analyst at independent research firm Wise-owl specialised in small-mid cap growth opportunities and ethical investment opportunities. Simon's aim is to disrupt the cliché approach to investment decision making as he believes that socially and environmentally responsible behaviour is a necessity to long-term wealth creation. Simon has a deep fundamental understanding of the global financial landscape and has compiled 300+ research reports, valuations and corporate appraisals. Simon is commonly featured in major media outlets and his research is published weekly in The Australian.

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