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Peru stocks higher at close of trade; S&P Lima General up 0.29%

Investing.com – Peru stocks were higher after the close on Monday, as gains in the Banking&Financials, Food&Beverages and Services sectors led shares higher.

At the close in Lima, the S&P Lima General gained 0.29% to hit a new 5-year high.

The best performers of the session on the S&P Lima General were Bco Continenta (LM:CON), which rose 2.30% or 0.100 points to trade at 4.450 at the close. Meanwhile, Enel Distribucion Peru SAA (LM:ENE) added 1.72% or 0.100 points to end at 5.900 and Intergroup (LM:IFS) was up 1.34% or 0.562 points to 42.500 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Relapasa (LM:REL), which fell 3.23% or 0.010 points to trade at 0.300 at the close. Trevali Mining (LM:TV) declined 3.03% or 0.030 points to end at 0.960 and Panoro (LM:PML) was down 2.87% or 0.008 points to 0.271.

Falling stocks outnumbered advancing ones on the Lima Stock Exchange by 14 to 10 and 16 ended unchanged.

Crude oil for June delivery was up 0.75% or 0.51 to $68.91 a barrel. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Brent oil for delivery in June fell 0.01% or 0.01 to hit $74.99 a barrel, while the June Gold Futures contract fell 0.87% or 11.70 to trade at $1326.60 a troy ounce.

USD/PEN was up 0.50% to 3.2345, while EUR/PEN fell 0.41% to 3.9481.

The US Dollar Index Futures was up 0.68% at 90.69.

Day Ahead: Top 3 Things to Watch

Investing.com - Here’s a preview of the top 3 things that could rock markets tomorrow

1. Housing Data, Consumer Confidence, Richmond Fed Manufacturing on Tap

Amid easing geopolitical tensions following improving U.S-China trade relations and signs of progress toward peace talks on the Korean peninsula, investor attention will likely remain on top-tier economic data, corporate earnings and rising U.S. bond yields.

The Commerce Department is expected to report new home sales in March rose 1.9% to 625,000 units from 618,000 units in February.

Economist forecast the Conference Board’s consumer confidence gauge due 10:00 am ET to show a cooler reading of 126.0 for April from 127.7 in the previous month.

The Richmond Fed manufacturing index data for March due 10:00 am ET is expected to increase to 16 from a reading of 15 in March.

The 10Y US Treasury yield will also be in focus as it neared a key 3% level Monday amid growing investor expectations for a continued uptick in U.S. economic growth and inflation.

The dollar rose against a basket of major currencies on Monday, hitting a more than seven week high, supported by rising U.S. bond yields and a slump in both the yen and Aussie dollar against the greenback.

2. API Data to Extend Crude Oil Rally?

Traders look ahead to a fresh batch of crude oil inventory data from the American Petroleum Institute (API) due Tuesday after data last week showed a draw in U.S. crude stockpiles.

The American Petroleum Institute reported last Tuesday crude oil stockpiles fell by 1.047 million barrels. The Energy Information Administration’s weekly report showed a 1.071 million barrel decline in crude supplies closely matching the API figure.

Crude oil futures started the week on the front foot rebounding from intraday weakness which followed bearish comments on OPEC cuts from Iran.

3. Alphabet to Lift Sentiment on Tech?

Google-parent company Alphabet traded roughly flat in afterhours after posting first-quarter earnings and revenue that beat Wall Street estimates but investors weighed the tech-giant’s ramp up in capital expenditure, which was more than double analysts’ estimates.

Alphabet posted first-quarter earnings of $9.93 per share on $31.15 billion in revenue, topping analysts’ expectations for earnings of $9.28 per share on $30.29 billion in revenue.

Capital expenditures for Alphabet's Google division rose to $7.7 billion for the first quarter of 2018, more than triple last year's expenditures of $2.41 billion and more than double the $3.5 billion analysts had expected for all of Alphabet’s divisions.

Advertising revenues, which forms a large chunk of Alphabet’s revenues, was $26.6 billion for the quarter.

Cost-per-click, the price Google charges for its ads, fell 7% year-on-year while the price for views of ads sold rose 8%.

Shares of Alphabet Inc Class A (NASDAQ:GOOGL) rose 0.19% in after hours trading to $1,069.50 after closing 0.33% lower at $1,073.81.

The report from Alphabet kicked off what is expected to be the busiest week of earnings which will include reports from tech behemoths Facebook (NASDAQ:FB), Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) and Twitter.

Bitcoin Trickles Lower; Bitcoin Cash Extends Rally

Investing.com – Bitcoin traded roughly unchanged on Monday amid a lack of significant news to sway sentiment in either direction.

Bitcoin fell 0.85% to $8,848 on the Bitfinex exchange after rising above $9,000 before paring gains as investors awaited further catalysts to determine direction.

Despite the lack of significant crypto-related news, investors cheered ongoing signs of improvement in sentiment on cryptos after Goldman Sachs was reported to have appointed its first head of digital assets markets as it explores ways for its clients to invest in cryptocurrencies.

The recent turn in sentiment on cryptocurrencies has been characterized by a renewed investor demand as the total cryptomarket cap continued to edge higher.

The total market cap of cryptocurrencies rose to about $397 billion, at the time of writing, from about $378 billion last week.

Ripple XRP fell 2.04% to $0.86000 on the Poloniex exchange, while Ethereum fell 1% to $636.01.

BItcoin cash, meanwhile, rose 10.93% to $1,379.60, in part because mining group Antpool reduced the supply of bitcoin cash in circulation by “burning” a portion of the coins it receives as part of a mining reward, according to Bloomberg.

For the uninitiated, bitcoin cash miners are users who help maintain the system by validating transactions stored in “blocks” on the network.

Using powerful computer hardware, miners validate blocks by solving a complex “puzzle” – the more powerful the computer the faster its ability to solve the puzzle. Every time a "puzzle" is solved, a portion of bitcoin cash is distributed to the "puzzle solver" or miner.

Mexico stocks higher at close of trade; S&P/BMV IPC up 0.02%

Investing.com – Mexico stocks were higher after the close on Monday, as gains in the Materials, Industrials and Financial Services sectors led shares higher.

At the close in Mexico, the S&P/BMV IPC gained 0.02%.

The best performers of the session on the S&P/BMV IPC were Grupo Financiero Inbursa , SAB De CV (MX:GFINBURO), which rose 2.40% or 0.730 points to trade at 31.150 at the close. Meanwhile, Grupo Aeroportuario del Pacifico SAB De CV Class B (MX:GAPB) added 2.33% or 4.53 points to end at 199.20 and Grupo Aeroportuario Del Sureste (MX:ASURB) was up 2.19% or 7.16 points to 333.61 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were VOLARIS A (MX:VOLARA), which fell 15.79% or 2.07 points to trade at 11.04 at the close. Grupo LALA SA de CV (MX:LALAB) declined 3.98% or 0.99 points to end at 23.86 and El Puerto De Liverpool Sab De CV (MX:LIVEPOLC1) was down 2.00% or 2.62 points to 128.28.

Rising stocks outnumbered declining ones on the Mexico Stock Exchange by 211 to 97 and 13 ended unchanged.

Shares in VOLARIS A (MX:VOLARA) fell to 3-years lows; falling 15.79% or 2.07 to 11.04.

Gold Futures for June delivery was down 0.94% or 12.60 to $1325.70 a troy ounce. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Crude oil for delivery in June rose 0.77% or 0.53 to hit $68.93 a barrel, while the June Brent oil contract rose 1.27% or 0.94 to trade at $75.00 a barrel.

USD/MXN was up 2.19% to 18.9333, while EUR/MXN rose 1.52% to 23.1127.

The US Dollar Index Futures was up 0.69% at 90.70.

U.S. stocks mixed at close of trade; Dow Jones Industrial Average down 0.06%

Investing.com – U.S. stocks were mixed after the close on Monday, as gains in the Telecoms, Oil&Gas and Healthcare sectors led shares higher while losses in the Basic Materials, Technology and Industrials sectors led shares lower.

At the close in NYSE, the Dow Jones Industrial Average declined 0.06%, while the S&P 500 index gained 0.01%, and the NASDAQ Composite index fell 0.25%.

The best performers of the session on the Dow Jones Industrial Average were Merck&Company Inc (NYSE:MRK), which rose 2.41% or 1.42 points to trade at 60.25 at the close. Meanwhile, Verizon Communications Inc (NYSE:VZ) added 1.59% or 0.76 points to end at 48.66 and Nike Inc (NYSE:NKE) was up 1.20% or 0.79 points to 66.88 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Goldman Sachs Group Inc (NYSE:GS), which fell 2.10% or 5.29 points to trade at 246.67 at the close. Procter&Gamble Company (NYSE:PG) declined 1.08% or 0.80 points to end at 73.00 and Walmart Inc (NYSE:WMT) was down 1.01% or 0.88 points to 86.10.

The top performers on the S&P 500 were Henry Schein Inc (NASDAQ:HSIC) which rose 6.83% to 73.79, Mattel Inc (NASDAQ:MAT) which was up 6.33% to settle at 13.78 and Hanesbrands Inc (NYSE:HBI) which gained 5.87% to close at 18.22.

The worst performers were Arconic Inc (NYSE:ARNC) which was down 5.20% to 22.05 in late trade, Micron Technology Inc (NASDAQ:MU) which lost 3.16% to settle at 49.02 and Western Digital Corporation (NASDAQ:WDC) which was down 2.86% to 87.00 at the close.

The top performers on the NASDAQ Composite were Check Cap Ltd (NASDAQ:CHEK) which rose 78.82% to 7.260, Integrated Media Technology Ltd (NASDAQ:IMTE) which was down 19.33% to settle at 2.42 and Foresight Autonomous Holdings Ltd ADR (NASDAQ:FRSX) which gained 17.21% to close at 3.61.

The worst performers were Prothena Corporation plc (NASDAQ:PRTA) which was down 68.78% to 11.50 in late trade, Akorn Inc (NASDAQ:AKRX) which lost 33.76% to settle at 13.05 and Westmoreland Coal Company (NASDAQ:WLB) which was down 29.82% to 0.20 at the close.

Falling stocks outnumbered advancing ones on the New York Stock Exchange by 1667 to 1375 and 155 ended unchanged; on the Nasdaq Stock Exchange, 1448 fell and 1076 advanced, while 145 ended unchanged.

Shares in Procter&Gamble Company (NYSE:PG) fell to 52-week lows; down 1.08% or 0.80 to 73.00. Shares in Prothena Corporation plc (NASDAQ:PRTA) fell to 3-years lows; down 68.78% or 25.34 to 11.50. Shares in Akorn Inc (NASDAQ:AKRX) fell to 3-years lows; down 33.76% or 6.65 to 13.05. Shares in Westmoreland Coal Company (NASDAQ:WLB) fell to all time lows; down 29.82% or 0.09 to 0.20.

The CBOE Volatility Index, which measures the implied volatility of S&P 500 options, was down 3.26% to 16.33.

Gold Futures for June delivery was down 0.93% or 12.50 to $1325.80 a troy ounce. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Crude oil for delivery in June rose 0.75% or 0.51 to hit $68.91 a barrel, while the June Brent oil contract rose 1.27% or 0.94 to trade at $75.00 a barrel.

EUR/USD was down 0.65% to 1.2208, while USD/JPY rose 0.99% to 108.73.

The US Dollar Index Futures was up 0.69% at 90.70.

Colombia stocks higher at close of trade; COLCAP up 0.97%

Investing.com – Colombia stocks were higher after the close on Monday, as gains in the Services, Public Services and Agriculture sectors led shares higher.

At the close in Colombia, the COLCAP gained 0.97% to hit a new 1-month high.

The best performers of the session on the COLCAP were Promigas (CN:PMG), which rose 2.96% or 220.0 points to trade at 7660.0 at the close. Meanwhile, Cemex Latam Holdings SA (CN:CLH) added 0.98% or 90.0 points to end at 9240.0 and Interconnection Electric SA ESP (CN:ISA) was up 0.27% or 40.0 points to 14880.0 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Pfgrupoarg (CN:ARG_p), which fell 2.86% or 480.0 points to trade at 16320.0 at the close. Conconcret (CN:CIC) declined 2.56% or 25.0 points to end at 952.0 and Bcolombia (CN:BIC) was down 2.01% or 700.0 points to 34200.0.

Rising stocks outnumbered declining ones on the Colombia Stock Exchange by 1 to 0.

Shares in Interconnection Electric SA ESP (CN:ISA) rose to 5-year highs; gaining 0.27% or 40.0 to 14880.0.

US coffee C for July delivery was up 0.88% or 1.03 to $118.58 . Elsewhere in commodities trading, US cocoa for delivery in July fell 0.04% or 1.00 to hit $2728.00 , while the June Gold Futures contract fell 0.91% or 12.20 to trade at $1326.10 a troy ounce.

USD/COP was up 1.56% to 2803.69, while BRL/COP rose 0.52% to 812.83.

The US Dollar Index Futures was up 0.69% at 90.70.

Crude Oil Prices Sidestep Bearish Iran Comments on OPEC Cuts to Settle Higher

Investing.com - Crude oil prices settled higher on Monday as investors weighed bearish comments from Iran concerning an extension to the output-cut agreemnt against a drop in global oil supplies.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange crude futures for June delivery rose 24 cents to settle at $68.64 a barrel, while on London's Intercontinental Exchange, Brent rose 0.97% to trade at $74.80 a barrel.

Sentiment on an extension to the output-cut agreement were dented somewhat after Iran's oil minister Bijan Zanganeh claimed that a continued rise in crude oil prices would nullify the need to extend the OPEC-lead deal.

Zanganeh confirmed Iran was exporting just over 2.5 million barrels per day, which is around a 30% increase from March levels, Bloomberg reported.

This comes as growing investor expectations the U.S. was set to impose new Iranian sanctions in May, limiting the country’s oil output, paving the way for an extended rally in crude prices.

“New Iranian sanctions in May would likely be the catalyst needed to encourage long-term buyers to revisit US E&P’s in a more serious way and could lead to materially higher oil prices, erase the backwardation in crude and provide a path for prices to stay elevated for quite some time,” said NatAlliance Securities Energy Specialist Leo Mariani.

The output agreement is close to ridding the market of excess supplies of crude, which stood at just 12 million barrels above the five-year average, Reuters reported last week, citing a source familiar with the matter.

In November 2016, OPEC and other producers, including Russia agreed to cut output by 1.8 million barrels per day (bpd) to slash global inventories to the five year-average. The OPEC-led deal was renewed last year through 2018.

Also supporting sentiment on crude prices was a slight disruption in global crude supplies after Bloomberg reported that rebels attacked Libya’s Waha oil pipeline on Sunday, which knocked 80,000 barrels per day offline.

Gold prices Tumble 1% as Dollar, Yields Jump

Investing.com – Gold prices tumbled pressured by easing geopolitical tensions and continued dollar strength on the back of the rising US bond yields.

Gold futures for June delivery on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange fell by $13.50, or 1.01%, to $1,324.80 a troy ounce.

Gold prices languished at more than two-week lows as the dollar jumped to an eight-week high against a basket of major currencies buoyed by a continued uptick dollar as the 10-Year U.S. Treasury yield neared 3%.

Gold is sensitive to moves higher in both bond yields and the U.S. dollar – A stronger dollar makes gold more expensive for holders of foreign currency, while a rise in U.S. rates, lift the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding assets such as bullion.

Also weighing on gold prices was waning safe-haven demand after geopolitical tensions eased following easing U.S-China trade-war fears and amid signs of progress toward peace talks on the Korean peninsula.

North Korea said at the weekend it would suspend nuclear and missile tests ahead of planned summits with South Korea and the United States. This comes as U.S. President Donald Trump said last week that he hoped a summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un would be successful.

Easing U.S.-China tensions also lessened demand for safe-haven gold after U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Saturday he may travel to China to discuss trade-related issues.

In other precious metal trade, silver futures fell 3.13% to $16.625 a troy ounce, while platinum futures fell 0.88% to $923.60 an ounce.

Copper fell 0.93% to $3.11.

Dollar Hits 8-Week High as 10Y Yield Nears 3%; Yen, Aussie Dollar Slumps

Investing.com – The dollar rose to an eight-week high against a basket of currencies amid a slump in both the yen and Aussie dollar, while a rise in the 10-year U.S. treasury yield close an important 3% level also lifted sentiment.

The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, rose 0.65% to 90.67.

The 10-year US treasury yield neared an important 3% level as investors added to bets for the Federal Reserve to hike rates four times this year.

According to investing.com’s Fed rate monitor tool, the odds of a fourth rate hike rose to 40% from about 25% last month. This comes on the back of growing investor expectations for a continued uptick in U.S. economic growth and inflation.

A flurry of mostly positive economic data also underpinned a move higher in the greenback as services, manufacturing PMIs and housing data topped economists’ estimates.

Easing U.S.-China trade relations, meanwhile, also helped lift sentiment on the greenback after U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Saturday he may travel to China to discuss trade-related issues.

Easing trade-war fears, lessened demand for safe-haven yen, as USD/JPY rose 0.93% to Y108.66, its highest in more than two months. Weakness in the yen comes despite growing uncertainty surrounding the future of Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe after his approval ratings continued to edged lower.

Elsewhere, reports the U.S. may lift sanctions on Rusal, eased commodity supply shortage fears, sending the commodity-sensitive AUD/USD tumbling to $0.7609, down 0.82%.

GBP/USD fell below $1.4000, while EUR/USD fell 0.63% to $1.2211 ahead of the European Central Bank meeting slated for Thursday.

Nigeria stocks higher at close of trade; NSE 30 up 0.07%

Investing.com – Nigeria stocks were higher after the close on Monday, as gains in the Oil&Gas, Food, Beverages&Tobacco and Insurance sectors led shares higher.

At the close in Lagos, the NSE 30 added 0.07%.

The best performers of the session on the NSE 30 were Nestle Nig (LAGOS:NESTLE), which rose 5.00% or 71.10 points to trade at 1493.60 at the close. Meanwhile, Fbn Holdings (LAGOS:FBNH) added 4.67% or 0.600 points to end at 13.450 and Nig Brew (LAGOS:NB) was up 2.85% or 3.60 points to 129.70 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Pz Cussons LG (LAGOS:PZ), which fell 4.67% or 1.05 points to trade at 21.45 at the close. Skye Bank (LAGOS:SKYEBAN) declined 4.21% or 0.040 points to end at 0.910 and Dangsugar (LAGOS:DANGSUG) was down 3.97% or 0.85 points to 20.65.

Falling stocks outnumbered advancing ones on the Lagos by 49 to 33 and 21 ended unchanged.

Crude oil for June delivery was down 0.03% or 0.02 to $68.38 a barrel. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Brent oil for delivery in June rose 0.46% or 0.34 to hit $74.40 a barrel, while the June Gold Futures contract fell 1.00% or 13.40 to trade at $1324.90 a troy ounce.

EUR/NGN was down 0.60% to 440.250, while USD/NGN unchanged 0.00% to 360.000.

The US Dollar Index Futures was up 0.67% at 90.68.

Morocco stocks lower at close of trade; Moroccan All Shares down 0.11%

Investing.com – Morocco stocks were lower after the close on Monday, as losses in the Hotels, Restaurants&Leisure, Real Estate and Oil&Gas sectors led shares lower.

At the close in Casablanca, the Moroccan All Shares lost 0.11%.

The best performers of the session on the Moroccan All Shares were Timar (CS:TIM), which rose 9.88% or 21.75 points to trade at 241.80 at the close. Meanwhile, Involys (CS:INV) added 7.45% or 9.50 points to end at 137.00 and Agma Lahlou-Tazi (CS:AGMA) was up 6.00% or 174 points to 3076 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Risma (CS:RIS), which fell 3.34% or 5.95 points to trade at 172.00 at the close. Residences Dar Saada SA (CS:RDS) declined 3.20% or 4.00 points to end at 121.00 and Douja Prom Addoha (CS:ADH) was down 2.93% or 0.74 points to 24.55.

Falling stocks outnumbered advancing ones on the Casablanca Stock Exchange by 21 to 17 and 5 ended unchanged.

Crude oil for June delivery was down 0.22% or 0.15 to $68.25 a barrel. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Brent oil for delivery in June rose 0.30% or 0.22 to hit $74.28 a barrel, while the June Gold Futures contract fell 0.99% or 13.30 to trade at $1325.00 a troy ounce.

EUR/MAD was down 0.23% to 11.2840, while USD/MAD rose 0.37% to 9.2366.

The US Dollar Index Futures was up 0.63% at 90.65.

Denmark stocks higher at close of trade; OMX Copenhagen 20 up 0.37%

Investing.com – Denmark stocks were higher after the close on Monday, as gains in the Software&Computer Services, Technology and Financials sectors led shares higher.

At the close in Copenhagen, the OMX Copenhagen 20 added 0.37%.

The best performers of the session on the OMX Copenhagen 20 were DSV (CO:DSV), which rose 1.72% or 8.4 points to trade at 496.9 at the close. Meanwhile, Coloplast A/S (CO:COLOb) added 1.38% or 7.2 points to end at 528.2 and Novozymes A/S B (CO:NZYMb) was up 1.10% or 3.4 points to 312.2 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Genmab (CO:GEN), which fell 1.07% or 13.5 points to trade at 1253.5 at the close. Chr. Hansen Holding A/S (CO:CHRH) declined 0.71% or 4.0 points to end at 562.2 and AP Moeller - Maersk A/S B (CO:MAERSKb) was down 0.59% or 56 points to 9488.

Rising stocks outnumbered declining ones on the Copenhagen Stock Exchange by 68 to 55 and 13 ended unchanged.

Crude oil for June delivery was down 0.19% or 0.13 to $68.27 a barrel. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Brent oil for delivery in June rose 0.34% or 0.25 to hit $74.31 a barrel, while the June Gold Futures contract fell 0.98% or 13.10 to trade at $1325.20 a troy ounce.

USD/DKK was up 0.60% to 6.0976, while EUR/DKK rose 0.00% to 7.4478.

The US Dollar Index Futures was up 0.62% at 90.64.

France stocks higher at close of trade; CAC 40 up 0.48%

Investing.com – France stocks were higher after the close on Monday, as gains in the Oil&Gas, Financials and Industrials sectors led shares higher.

At the close in Paris, the CAC 40 added 0.48% to hit a new 1-month high, while the SBF 120 index climbed 0.29%.

The best performers of the session on the CAC 40 were Airbus Group SE (PA:AIR), which rose 2.11% or 1.99 points to trade at 96.16 at the close. Meanwhile, TechnipFMC PLC (PA:FTI) added 1.86% or 0.50 points to end at 27.42 and Compagnie de Saint Gobain SA (PA:SGOB) was up 1.28% or 0.56 points to 44.57 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Pernod Ricard SA (PA:PERP), which fell 1.83% or 2.55 points to trade at 136.45 at the close. Legrand SA (PA:LEGD) declined 1.10% or 0.72 points to end at 64.48 and Essilor International Compagnie Generale d’Optique SA (PA:ESSI) was down 0.87% or 1.00 points to 113.45.

The top performers on the SBF 120 were Vallourec (PA:VLLP) which rose 2.96% to 5.220, Airbus Group SE (PA:AIR) which was up 2.11% to settle at 96.16 and Metropole TV (PA:MMTP) which gained 2.04% to close at 20.96.

The worst performers were SES (PA:SESFd) which was down 8.03% to 11.68 in late trade, Eramet (PA:ERMT) which lost 5.69% to settle at 139.20 and Groupe FNAC (PA:FNAC) which was down 4.81% to 88.100 at the close.

Falling stocks outnumbered advancing ones on the Paris Stock Exchange by 288 to 272 and 91 ended unchanged.

The CAC 40 VIX, which measures the implied volatility of CAC 40 options, was down 1.74% to 12.35.

Gold Futures for June delivery was down 0.96% or 12.90 to $1325.40 a troy ounce. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Crude oil for delivery in June fell 0.26% or 0.18 to hit $68.22 a barrel, while the June Brent oil contract rose 0.23% or 0.17 to trade at $74.23 a barrel.

EUR/USD was down 0.60% to 1.2214, while EUR/GBP fell 0.22% to 0.8757.

The US Dollar Index Futures was up 0.62% at 90.64.

Italy stocks higher at close of trade; Investing.com Italy 40 up 1.03%

Investing.com – Italy stocks were higher after the close on Monday, as gains in the Financials, Technology and Oil&Gas sectors led shares higher.

At the close in Milan, the Investing.com Italy 40 gained 1.03% to hit a new 1-month high.

The best performers of the session on the Investing.com Italy 40 were Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV (MI:FCHA), which rose 2.11% or 0.406 points to trade at 19.680 at the close. Meanwhile, Mediobanca (MI:MDBI) added 2.02% or 0.205 points to end at 10.375 and UnipolSai Assicurazioni SpA (MI:US) was up 1.88% or 0.040 points to 2.173 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Luxottica Group (MI:LUX), which fell 2.17% or 1.14 points to trade at 51.40 at the close. Italgas SpA (MI:IG) declined 1.58% or 0.082 points to end at 5.092 and Prysmian (MI:PRY) was down 0.93% or 0.23 points to 24.57.

Rising stocks outnumbered declining ones on the Milan Stock Exchange by 206 to 132 and 27 ended unchanged.

Shares in Mediobanca (MI:MDBI) rose to 5-year highs; rising 2.02% or 0.205 to 10.375.

Crude oil for June delivery was down 0.25% or 0.17 to $68.23 a barrel. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Brent oil for delivery in June rose 0.28% or 0.21 to hit $74.27 a barrel, while the June Gold Futures contract fell 0.97% or 13.00 to trade at $1325.30 a troy ounce.

EUR/USD was down 0.60% to 1.2214, while EUR/GBP fell 0.22% to 0.8757.

The US Dollar Index Futures was up 0.62% at 90.64.

Netherlands stocks higher at close of trade; AEX up 0.70%

Investing.com – Netherlands stocks were higher after the close on Monday, as gains in the Healthcare, Telecoms and Technology sectors led shares higher.

At the close in Amsterdam, the AEX added 0.70% to hit a new 1-month high.

The best performers of the session on the AEX were Koninklijke Philips NV (AS:PHG), which rose 5.53% or 1.82 points to trade at 34.75 at the close. Meanwhile, ASR Nederland NV (AS:ASRNL) added 2.18% or 0.82 points to end at 38.44 and Altice NV (AS:ATCA) was up 1.83% or 0.15 points to 8.45 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Randstad Holding NV (AS:RAND), which fell 1.26% or 0.70 points to trade at 54.80 at the close. Heineken (AS:HEIN) declined 1.12% or 0.98 points to end at 86.66 and Akzo Nobel (AS:AKZO) was down 0.69% or 0.54 points to 78.00.

Rising stocks outnumbered declining ones on the Amsterdam Stock Exchange by 68 to 53 and 12 ended unchanged.

The AEX Volatility, which measures the implied volatility of AEX options, was up 2.00% to 11.69.

Crude oil for June delivery was down 0.26% or 0.18 to $68.22 a barrel. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Brent oil for delivery in June rose 0.28% or 0.21 to hit $74.27 a barrel, while the June Gold Futures contract fell 0.97% or 13.00 to trade at $1325.30 a troy ounce.

EUR/USD was down 0.60% to 1.2214, while EUR/GBP fell 0.23% to 0.8756.

The US Dollar Index Futures was up 0.62% at 90.64.

Poland stocks lower at close of trade; WIG30 down 0.47%

Investing.com – Poland stocks were lower after the close on Monday, as losses in the Basic Materials, Energy and Telecoms sectors led shares lower.

At the close in Warsaw, the WIG30 declined 0.47%.

The best performers of the session on the WIG30 were Grupa Lotos SA (WA:LTSP), which rose 2.07% or 1.14 points to trade at 56.14 at the close. Meanwhile, Kernel Holding SA (WA:KER) added 1.34% or 0.65 points to end at 49.30 and Powszechna Kasa Oszczednosci Bank Polski SA (WA:PKO) was up 0.83% or 0.34 points to 41.48 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were KGHM Polska Miedz SA (WA:KGH), which fell 4.28% or 4.11 points to trade at 91.83 at the close. Bank Millennium SA (WA:MILP) declined 3.40% or 0.29 points to end at 8.23 and OrangePL (WA:OPL) was down 3.36% or 0.19 points to 5.47.

Falling stocks outnumbered advancing ones on the Warsaw Stock Exchange by 257 to 184 and 177 ended unchanged.

Crude oil for June delivery was down 0.35% or 0.24 to $68.16 a barrel. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Brent oil for delivery in June rose 0.15% or 0.11 to hit $74.17 a barrel, while the June Gold Futures contract fell 0.96% or 12.90 to trade at $1325.40 a troy ounce.

EUR/PLN was up 0.74% to 4.2034, while USD/PLN rose 1.32% to 3.4405.

The US Dollar Index Futures was up 0.59% at 90.61.

Sweden stocks higher at close of trade; OMX Stockholm 30 up 0.96%

Investing.com – Sweden stocks were higher after the close on Monday, as gains in the Telecoms, Consumer Services and Healthcare sectors led shares higher.

At the close in Stockholm, the OMX Stockholm 30 rose 0.96% to hit a new 1-month high.

The best performers of the session on the OMX Stockholm 30 were Alfa Laval AB (ST:ALFA), which rose 6.36% or 13.3 points to trade at 222.3 at the close. Meanwhile, H&M Hennes&Mauritz AB B (ST:HMb) added 3.23% or 4.3 points to end at 136.7 and Telia Company AB (ST:TELIA) was up 3.12% or 1.29 points to 42.59 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Securitas AB ser. B (ST:SECUb), which fell 1.04% or 1.45 points to trade at 138.45 at the close. Telefonaktiebolaget LM Ericsson Class B (ST:ERICb) declined 0.85% or 0.56 points to end at 65.22 and Fingerprint Cards AB ser. B (ST:FINGb) was down 0.75% or 0.06 points to 8.17.

Rising stocks outnumbered declining ones on the Stockholm Stock Exchange by 356 to 255 and 62 ended unchanged.

Shares in Alfa Laval AB (ST:ALFA) rose to all time highs; rising 6.36% or 13.3 to 222.3. Shares in Telia Company AB (ST:TELIA) rose to 52-week highs; rising 3.12% or 1.29 to 42.59.

Crude oil for June delivery was down 0.54% or 0.37 to $68.03 a barrel. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Brent oil for delivery in June rose 0.01% or 0.01 to hit $74.07 a barrel, while the June Gold Futures contract fell 0.96% or 12.90 to trade at $1325.40 a troy ounce.

EUR/SEK was up 0.09% to 10.3874, while USD/SEK rose 0.65% to 8.5010.

The US Dollar Index Futures was up 0.59% at 90.61.

Greece stocks lower at close of trade; Athens General Composite down 0.72%

Investing.com – Greece stocks were lower after the close on Monday, as losses in the Basic Resources, Healthcare and Household sectors led shares lower.

At the close in Athens, the Athens General Composite lost 0.72%.

The best performers of the session on the Athens General Composite were Flexopack SA (AT:FLXr), which rose 5.97% or 0.4000 points to trade at 7.3000 at the close. Meanwhile, Centric Hold (AT:DESr) added 3.16% or 0.005 points to end at 0.163 and Thrace Plastic (AT:THRr) was up 1.99% or 0.050 points to 2.560 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Profile Syst (AT:PRFr), which fell 4.51% or 0.060 points to trade at 1.270 at the close. Mytilineos Holdings SA (AT:MYTr) declined 3.90% or 0.400 points to end at 9.860 and J.&P. Avax (AT:AVAr) was down 3.07% or 0.025 points to 0.790.

Falling stocks outnumbered advancing ones on the Athens Stock Exchange by 72 to 46 and 15 ended unchanged.

Shares in Flexopack SA (AT:FLXr) rose to 3-years highs; up 5.97% or 0.4000 to 7.3000.

Gold Futures for June delivery was down 0.93% or 12.40 to $1325.90 a troy ounce. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Crude oil for delivery in June fell 0.75% or 0.51 to hit $67.89 a barrel, while the June Brent oil contract fell 0.19% or 0.14 to trade at $73.92 a barrel.

EUR/USD was down 0.55% to 1.2221, while EUR/GBP fell 0.17% to 0.8761.

The US Dollar Index Futures was up 0.56% at 90.58.

Facebook Gets First Downgrade Since Data Scandal

Investing.com - It took more than a month, but a Wall Street firm has downgraded Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) in the wake of its data privacy scandal.
OTR Global lowered its rating from positive to mixed, forecasting lower year-over-year growth in advertising spending .
The research firm expects growth in ad spending to be 19%-24% higher than a year ago, compared to a 30% gain in the fourth quarter.
OTR's is the first downgrade, although several other firms have lowered their stock-price targets for Facebook since the social media giant revealed that Cambridge Analytica had misused the personal data of millions of users.
Facebook shares, which had lost as much as 17% of their value in the wake of the scandal, are down 13% from their February high.
The company reports earnings on April 25.

Israel stocks lower at close of trade; TA 35 down 0.75%

Investing.com – Israel stocks were lower after the close on Monday, as losses in the Biomed, Oil&Gas and Insurance sectors led shares lower.

At the close in Tel Aviv, the TA 35 lost 0.75%.

The best performers of the session on the TA 35 were Azrieli Group Ltd (TA:AZRG), which rose 2.07% or 350 points to trade at 17260 at the close. Meanwhile, First International Bank of Israel Ltd (TA:FTIN) added 1.43% or 108 points to end at 7672 and Sodastream International Ltd (TA:SODA) was up 0.73% or 250.0 points to 34450.0 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Partner (TA:PTNR), which fell 2.45% or 41 points to trade at 1630 at the close. OPKO Health Inc (TA:OPK) declined 2.17% or 24 points to end at 1082 and Frutarom Industries Ltd (TA:FRUT) was down 2.07% or 750 points to 35500.

Falling stocks outnumbered advancing ones on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange by 240 to 145 and 27 ended unchanged.

Shares in Sodastream International Ltd (TA:SODA) rose to all time highs; gaining 0.73% or 250.0 to 34450.0.

Crude oil for June delivery was down 0.99% or 0.68 to $67.72 a barrel. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Brent oil for delivery in June fell 0.42% or 0.31 to hit $73.75 a barrel, while the June Gold Futures contract fell 0.93% or 12.40 to trade at $1325.90 a troy ounce.

USD/ILS was up 0.33% to 3.5416, while EUR/ILS fell 0.18% to 4.3296.

The US Dollar Index Futures was up 0.52% at 90.55.

Dollar Posts Broad Gains, Hits 7-Week Highs

Investing.com - The dollar posted broad gains against a basket of the other major currencies on Monday, hitting seven week highs, boosted by rising U.S. bond yields.

The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a basket of six major currencies, was up 0.57% to 90.60 by 10:04 AM ET (14:04 GMT), the highest level since March 1.

The yield 10-year U.S. Treasury notes moved closer to the 3% level on Monday, as strengthening inflation prospects added to expectations for a faster rate of monetary tightening from the Federal Reserve.

The dollar received an additional boost after data showing that U.S. existing home sales rose strongly in March, in what was a second straight monthly increase.

The dollar rose to more than two-month highs against the safe haven yen, with USD/JPY advancing 0.72% to 108.42.

The Japanese currency is often sought in times of market turmoil and political tensions and tends to decline as investor confidence returns.

North Korea said on Saturday it was suspending nuclear and missile tests and scrapping its nuclear test site ahead of planned summits with South Korea and the U.S.

Besides concerns over geopolitical risks, worries over a trade spat between the U.S. and China also appeared to be easing.

The euro slid to two-month lows, with EUR/USD down 0.58% to 1.2217.

The single currency failed to find support after data showing that while activity in the euro area service sector picked up in April manufacturing growth slowed to the lowest level in 14 months.

The decline was due, in part, to the stronger euro hitting export growth.

Sterling was also lower, with GBP/USD down 0.44% to 1.3941 after ending the previous week down 1.71%.

The pound fell last week after Bank of England Governor Mark Carney indicated that the central bank may not raise interest rates in May after recent weaker-than-expected wage growth and inflation data.

U.S. Business Activity Grows in April – Markit

Investing.com - U.S. private sector activity grew in April, according to survey data released on Monday.

The preliminary reading of the Markit services purchasing managers’ index came in at 54.4 this month from 54.0 in March.

Economists had forecast a reading of 54.3.

The manufacturing PMI rose to 56.5, compared to expectations for 55.2 and from 55.6 a month earlier.

The composite output index, which measures the combined output of both the manufacturing and service sectors rose to 54.8 from 54.2, against expectations for 55.3.

A reading above 50.0 on the index indicates industry expansion, below indicates contraction.

The research group noted that the surveys registered the second strongest monthly expansion since last October.

“Manufacturing is leading the upturn, with factories reporting the strongest output gains for 15 months, and the vast service sector is enjoying a steady, robust expansion,” IHS Markit chief economist Chris Williamson explained.

“After a relatively disappointing start to the year, the second quarter should prove a lot more encouraging,” this expert indicated.

Williamson said that the survey data pointed to growth of 2.5% in the second quarter.

He highlighted that growth in new orders accelerated to show the largest surge in demand for goods and services for just over three years while companies’ expectations for growth also jumped to a three-year high.

Williamson also noted that hiring remained robust, pointing to the creation of around 200,000 nonfarm payrolls in April.

“The details of the survey therefore suggest that output growth is on course to accelerate as we move into the summer,” Williamson concluded.

However, he also warned that prices are meanwhile being pulled upwards by the strength of the upturn, “sending hawkish signals for policy makers”.

Cryptos Mixed; Walmart, Amazon Patent Bitcoin

Investing.com - Bitcoin and other virtual coins were mixed on Monday, as talk of regulation eased investor appetite and U.S. retail giants Walmart (NYSE:WMT) and Amazon looked to monetize the technology.

Bitcoin was trading at $8,935.0 inching up 0.02% as of 8:44 AM ET (12:44 GMT) on the Bitfinex exchange.

In Iran, the central bank has banned banks from dealing in cryptocurrencies. The Central Bank of Iran had already declared that trading Bitcoin on exchange platforms was illegal.

The country is concerned that the virtual currencies could be used for money-laundering and heighten a currency crisis. Its currency, the rial, plunged to an all-time low last month amid concern of a return of sanctions.

U.S. President Donald Trump is expected to decide by May 12 whether to implement economic sanctions on Iran, which has been lifted in a 2015 pact with six major countries, including the U.S.

Meanwhile, the National Bank of Dubai was the first bank in the region to implement blockchain technology in check-issuance to prevent fraud. NBD is one of the largest banks in the Middle East by assets volume.

In the U.S., San Francisco Federal Reserve Bank President John Williams said that cryptocurrencies are not actually currency.

“Cryptocurrency doesn’t pass the basic test of what a currency should be,” he said. His remark echoes other regulators who remain skeptical about the use of digital coins.

Elsewhere, U.S. retailers are looking to use Bitcoin and blockchain technology to make shipping and payments easier. Retail giant Walmart Inc (NYSE:WMT) has just patented a blockchain payment system for vendors and customers. The system will automatically process payments for products and services, and encrypt the transactions on a blockchain.

Rival online retailer Amazon.com (NASDAQ:AMZN) has also patented bitcoin for use with tracking. The firm is hoping to track data streams, combine the information and then sell the data, taking the anonymity out of bitcoin. Amazon says that every time a bitcoin transaction takes place, other data can be captured, creating an profile for retailers, internet providers and banks.

Other virtual currencies were mixed, with rival Ethereum, the world’s second largest cryptocurrency by market cap, rising 2.76% to $644.20 on the Bitfinex exchange. Ripple, the third largest virtual currency, decreased 2.59% to $0.87376 while Litecoin was at $151.87, an increase of 0.81%.

Economic Calendar: Top Things To Watch

Investing.com - Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOGL), Halliburton (NYSE:HAL), Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT), Whirlpool (NYSE:WHR) and Wynn Resorts release first-quarter earnings on Monday. Look for key housing reports, with existing home sales on Monday and new home sales on Tuesday.On Wednesday, Boeing (NYSE:BA), eBay, Facebook (NASDAQ:FB), Ford Motor (NYSE:F), General Dynamics (NYSE:GD) and Twitter report earnings.American Airlines, Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN), General Motors (NYSE:GM), Intel (NASDAQ:INTC), PepsiCo (NASDAQ:PEP) and Starbucks (NASDAQ:SBUX) release earnings on Thursday. On Thursday, the government reports on weekly jobless claims, orders for durable goods and international trade in goods.The first reading on first-quarter GDP is due out Friday, along with the University of Michigan's consumer sentiment index for April.

U.S. 10-Year Treasury Yield Flirts With Key 3%-Level

Investing.com - U.S. government debt yields rose on Monday, with the benchmark 10-year note inching closer to the psychologically important 3%-threshold.

The benchmark 10-year yield hit an intraday high of 2.998%, a level not seen since January 2014. It was last at 2.988% by 6:20AM ET (1020GMT), up 3.5 basis points, or 1.2%.

The 10-year yield has not been above 3% - the point at which strategists and fund managers say equities will really hurt - since early 2014. It started the year at 2.4%.

Meanwhile, the yield on the Fed-sensitive 2-year note hit a high of 2.478%, its strongest level since Sept. 2008, while the 5-year yield touched a peak of 2.828%, a level last seen in June 2009.

The yield on the 30-year bond was also higher at 3.174%.

Bond yields move inversely to prices. One basis point is equal to one hundredth of a percentage point.

The increase in U.S. bond yields helped underpin the dollar, which jumped to a more than seven-week high against a basket of major currencies.

The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a basket of six major currencies, was up 0.4% to 90.44, the strongest level since March 1.

The recent bounce in yields and the dollar came as strengthening inflation prospects added to expectations of a more hawkish approach from the Federal Reserve this year.

The majority of economists believe that the Fed will hike rates in June, followed by another hike in September, with a third move higher arriving in December.

Indonesia stocks lower at close of trade; IDX Composite Index down 0.47%

Investing.com – Indonesia stocks were lower after the close on Monday, as losses in the Property, Consumer Industry and Miscellaneous Industry sectors led shares lower.

At the close in Jakarta, the IDX Composite Index declined 0.47%.

The best performers of the session on the IDX Composite Index were Primarindo Asia Infrastructure Tbk PT (JK:BIMA), which rose 34.72% or 25 points to trade at 97 at the close. Meanwhile, Bekasi Asri Pemula Tbk (JK:BAPA) added 33.59% or 43 points to end at 171 and Indomobil Multi Jasa Tbk (JK:IMJS) was up 25.00% or 160 points to 800 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were PT Cahayasakti Investindo Sukses Tbk (JK:CSIS), which fell 25.00% or 150 points to trade at 450 at the close. Indah Prakasa Sentosa PT Tbk (JK:INPS) declined 14.19% or 430 points to end at 2600 and Pikko Land Development Tbk (JK:RODA) was down 13.39% or 85 points to 550.

Falling stocks outnumbered advancing ones on the Jakarta Stock Exchange by 228 to 143 and 114 ended unchanged.

Shares in PT Cahayasakti Investindo Sukses Tbk (JK:CSIS) fell to all time lows; losing 25.00% or 150 to 450. Shares in Bekasi Asri Pemula Tbk (JK:BAPA) rose to 5-year highs; gaining 33.59% or 43 to 171. Shares in Indomobil Multi Jasa Tbk (JK:IMJS) rose to all time highs; gaining 25.00% or 160 to 800.

Crude oil for June delivery was down 0.47% or 0.32 to $68.08 a barrel. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Brent oil for delivery in June fell 0.23% or 0.17 to hit $73.89 a barrel, while the June Gold Futures contract fell 0.62% or 8.30 to trade at $1330.00 a troy ounce.

USD/IDR was up 0.72% to 13969.8, while AUD/IDR rose 0.24% to 10664.00.

The US Dollar Index Futures was up 0.43% at 90.47.

Philippines stocks lower at close of trade; PSEi Composite down 0.09%

Investing.com – Philippines stocks were lower after the close on Monday, as losses in the Mining&Oil, Services and Holding Firms sectors led shares lower.

At the close in Philippines, the PSEi Composite fell 0.09%.

The best performers of the session on the PSEi Composite were DMCI Holdings Inc (PS:DMC), which rose 2.31% or 0.280 points to trade at 12.380 at the close. Meanwhile, Metropolitan Bank and Trust Co (PS:MBT) added 1.99% or 1.65 points to end at 84.55 and Bank of the Philippine Islands (PS:BPI) was up 1.89% or 2.00 points to 108.00 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Metro Pacific Investments Corp (PS:MPI), which fell 3.45% or 0.160 points to trade at 4.480 at the close. Robinsons Land Corp (PS:RLC) declined 3.09% or 0.580 points to end at 18.160 and BDO Unibank Inc (PS:BDO) was down 2.31% or 3.10 points to 130.90.

Falling stocks outnumbered advancing ones on the Philippines Stock Exchange by 103 to 88 and 57 ended unchanged.

Shares in Metro Pacific Investments Corp (PS:MPI) fell to 52-week lows; losing 3.45% or 0.160 to 4.480. Shares in Robinsons Land Corp (PS:RLC) fell to 5-year lows; losing 3.09% or 0.580 to 18.160.

Gold Futures for June delivery was down 0.46% or 6.10 to $1332.20 a troy ounce. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Crude oil for delivery in June fell 0.63% or 0.43 to hit $67.97 a barrel, while the June Brent oil contract fell 0.57% or 0.42 to trade at $73.64 a barrel.

CNY/PHP was up 0.20% to 8.3012, while USD/PHP rose 0.38% to 52.335.

The US Dollar Index Futures was up 0.24% at 90.30.

French Private Sector Growth Accelerates in April: PMI

Investing.com - French private sector activity accelerated in April, according to survey data released on Monday.

The preliminary reading of the Markit services purchasing managers’ index came in at 57.4 this month from 56.9 in March.

Economists had forecast a reading of 56.6.

The manufacturing PMI ticked up to 53.4, in line with expectations and up from 53.7 a month earlier.

The composite output index, which measures the combined output of both the manufacturing and service sectors rose to 56.9 from 56.3, against expectations for 55.9.

A reading above 50.0 on the index indicates industry expansion, below indicates contraction.

Taiwan stocks lower at close of trade; Taiwan Weighted down 0.76%

Investing.com – Taiwan stocks were lower after the close on Monday, as losses in the , Optoelectronic and Machinery sectors led shares lower.

At the close in Taiwan, the Taiwan Weighted fell 0.76% to hit a new 1-month low.

The best performers of the session on the Taiwan Weighted were LongDa Construction&Development Corp (TW:5519), which rose 10.00% or 1.15 points to trade at 12.65 at the close. Meanwhile, Maxigen Biotech Inc (TW:1783) added 9.99% or 3.55 points to end at 39.10 and Yageo Corp (TW:2327) was up 9.97% or 62.00 points to 684.00 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Accton Technology Corp (TW:2345), which fell 9.82% or 7.50 points to trade at 68.90 at the close. Tong Hsing Electronic Industries Ltd (TW:6271) declined 9.75% or 11.50 points to end at 106.50 and ITEQ Corp (TW:6213) was down 9.49% or 6.50 points to 62.00.

Falling stocks outnumbered advancing ones on the Taiwan Stock Exchange by 530 to 266 and 116 ended unchanged.

Shares in Maxigen Biotech Inc (TW:1783) rose to 3-years highs; rising 9.99% or 3.55 to 39.10. Shares in Yageo Corp (TW:2327) rose to all time highs; gaining 9.97% or 62.00 to 684.00.

Crude oil for June delivery was down 0.25% or 0.17 to $68.23 a barrel. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Brent oil for delivery in June fell 0.12% or 0.09 to hit $73.97 a barrel, while the June Gold Futures contract fell 0.16% or 2.20 to trade at $1336.10 a troy ounce.

USD/TWD was up 0.20% to 29.526, while TWD/CNY fell 0.19% to 0.2134.

The US Dollar Index Futures was up 0.08% at 90.15.

Dollar Holding Steady near 2-Week Highs

Investing.com - The dollar was holding steady near two week highs against a currency basket on Monday supported by expectations for further interest rate hikes this year, while waning geopolitical risk dampened demand for the safe haven yen.

The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a basket of six major currencies, was at 90.17 by 02:46 AM ET (06:46 AM GMT), not far from the two week high of 90.25 set on Friday.

Demand for the dollar continued to be underpinned after recent comments by Federal Reserve officials indicated rates will continue to rise in 2018 as the economy remains on a steady course.

Expectations of higher interest rates tend to boost the dollar by making the currency more attractive to yield-seeking investors.

The dollar rose to a two-month high against the yen, with USD/JPY climbing to 107.89.

The Japanese currency is often sought in times of market turmoil and political tensions and tends to decline as investor confidence returns.

North Korea said on Saturday it was suspending nuclear and missile tests and scrapping its nuclear test site ahead of planned summits with South Korea and the U.S.

Besides concerns over geopolitical risks, concerns over a trade spat between the U.S. and China also appeared to be easing.

The euro slipped lower against the dollar, with EUR/USD dipping 0.13% to 1.2271.

The euro plumbed two-week lows of 1.2249 against the dollar on Friday after European Central Bank President Mario Draghi reiterated that the bank would be cautious about removing monetary stimulus.

Sterling pushed higher, with GBP/USD rising 0.14% to 1.4021 after ending the previous week down 1.71%.

The pound fell last week after Bank of England Governor Mark Carney indicated that the central bank may not raise interest rates in May after recent weaker-than-expected wage growth and inflation data.