Oil Prices Jump One Percent

Oil prices strengthened more than one percent on Monday, recovering from last week’s ten-month lows.

Brent crude, the international benchmark, was up 1.1 percent at $46.04 a barrel after closing 0.7 percent higher on Friday.

West Texas Intermediate (WTI) futures were up 44 cents or 1 percent at $43.45 per barrel.

Even tough oil prices have recovered from ten-month lows, they are still down about 13 percent since May, when the OPEC and some other producers agreed to stick to 1.8 million barrels per day until the end of March 2018.

Asian shares

Asian stocks inched up despite a rise in oil prices and news that Takata had filed for bankruptcy.

Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 index rose 0.1 percent or 20.68 points, while South Korea’s Kospi edged up by 0.42 percent or 10.06 points.

Markets in greater China fared better. China’s Shanghai Composite Index was rising 0.6 percent, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index was gaining 0.4 percent.

Markets in Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia and India were closed for holidays.

US Dollar soft

The U.S. dollar weakened against its major peers on Monday, after US Treasury yields stayed low due to fading expectations of the Fed hiking interest rates later this year.

The dollar index was lower at 97.239, adding to Friday’s losses of 0.4 percent.

“The main reason behind the weakness of the dollar, which has lost its upward momentum since the Fed rate hike, is U.S. yields stuck at low altitude. Yields appear to better reflect U.S. fundamentals relative to equities, and in focus this week are political developments and various indicators due for release,” said Junichi Ishikawa, senior FX strategist at IG Securities in Tokyo.

Gold prices were little changed on Monday, firming ahead of US economic data.

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