European stocks rose strongly on Monday after a sharp selloff last week on recession worries, while gains in French shares were capped after President Emmanuel Macron lost an absolute majority in the country’s parliamentary election.
The pan-European STOXX 600 index closed up 1 per cent, with battered banking, travel and energy stocks leading the gains, but volumes were crimped with US markets closed for a holiday. It sets up the Australian sharemarket for gains, with futures at 5.06am AEST pointing to a rise of 59 points, or 0.9 per cent, at the open. On Monday, it fell by 0.6 per cent, its seventh-straight day of declines.
Leading cryptocurrency Bitcoin edged 0.6 per cent higher to $US20,086 according to Bitstamp at 5.23am AEST, continuing its recovery after touching a low over the weekend of $17,592.78, a level not seen since late 2020.
Europe’s benchmark shed 4.6 per cent and hit over one-year lows last week in a global sell-off that was fuelled by worries about aggressive interest rate hikes by the US Federal Reserve and other major central banks sparking a recession.
“Friday’s options expiry and the lack of big central bank decisions might help equity bulls to wrench back control this week, even if only for a short while,” said Chris Beauchamp, chief market analyst at online trading platform IG.
European Central Bank chief Christine Lagarde on Monday reaffirmed plans to raise interest rates twice this summer, while fighting widening spreads in the borrowing costs of different euro zone countries.
France’s blue-chip CAC 40 rose 0.6 per cent, the least among major regional indexes, after Emmanuel Macron’s centrist Ensemble coalition secured the most seats in the National Assembly over the weekend but fell well short of securing an absolute majority needed to control parliament.
“It will mean that there will probably be less structural reforms but we’re already underweight Europe and it does not significantly change our stance,” said Willem Sels, global chief investment officer, private banking and wealth management at HSBC.