Rise of European stocks signals investor appetite for risk

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A meeting of Italian leading lenders and the country’s financial regulators seem to have driven optimism among investors Monday, sending up European stocks as the common currency Euro also gained ground against USD. But officials in Tokyo are warning of deliberate measures to cool the rise of Yen against the greenback.

European stocks rebounded Monday, with the FTSEuroFirst 300 index rising 0.6%. Major indices in the region also rose with Britain’s FTSE 100 ascending 0.2%, Germany’s DAX rising 0.9% and France’s CAC 40 going up 0.6%. European financials also gained ground, rising about 2%, led by Italian bank shares, which shot 13% above a three-year low reached last week.

The gain in European stocks and financials came ahead of the scheduled meeting in Rome between Italy’s central bank and the country’s leading lenders.

Japanese stocks fall but the Yen gains ground

Japan’s Nikkei 225 fell 0.4%, shedding more 70 points. However, other Asian markets appeared to be drawing support from China’s favorable consumer price inflation data. Shares in China rose amid growing investor hope that Beijing will relax monetary policies as the latest economic data showed weaker-than-expected consumer price increases.

Index of the broader Asia-Pacific shares excluding Japan was flat.

The U.S. dollar slid against Yen. The greenback fell about 2% against the Yen at 107.89. But the development prompted a reaction in Tokyo with the officials there talking about taking possible means to weaken Yen’s exchange rate. The rise of Yen came even as data showed that Japan’s core machinery orders declined 9.2% in February.

Uncertainty over rate hikes weaken dollar

The Euro also edged up against the dollar, gaining 0.1% to get back above the 1.1400 point. The last week’s high was 1.1454, which was the common currency’s highest level against the dollar since October 2015.

The weakening of the dollar seems to stem from growing uncertainty over interest rate hikes. It has recently seemed like the Fed was being more cautious about increasing rates that many had expected.

iPath S&P GSCI Crude Oil Total Return (NYSEARCA:OIL) falls

Crude oil prices fell, a sign that investors were booking profits after oil prices jumped over 6% last Friday. The U.S. crude oil futures declined 0.3% to $39.60 per barrel. The Brent crude was down nearly 0.2% to $41.85.

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