U.S. markets are closed for Martin Luther King Day. European markets were cautiously higher on Monday as investors assessed the growth and inflation outlook in light of recent data alongside the beginning of corporate earnings season. The pan-European Stoxx 600 index was up 0.3% by mid-afternoon, with financial services adding 0.8% while travel and leisure stocks dropped 0.7%. The World Economic Forum in Switzerland is a key focus for European markets this week. Heads of state and business leaders mingle with academics and innovators in Davos. The key themes for delegates to debate and discuss are the war in Ukraine, economic instability and uncertainty and climate change, among other things. Markets in the Asia-Pacific mostly rose as expectations of cooled inflation in the U.S. lifted investor sentiment in the region. In mainland China, the Shenzhen Component rose 1.58% to close at 11,785.77, leading gains in the wider region. The Shanghai Composite rose 1.01% to 3,227.59 as the nation saw home prices further drop in December. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index was flat after erasing earlier gains. In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 rose 0.82% to 7,388.2 while Japan’s Nikkei 225 fell 1.14% to 25,822.32 and the Topix shed 0.88% to 1,886.31. South Korea’s Kospi inched up 0.58% to 2,399.86 and the Kodaq gained 0.71% to 716.89. Oil prices dipped in early Asian trade on Monday, but held close to the highest levels since the start of the year on optimism that China’s reopening will lift fuel demand at the world’s top crude importer. Brent crude fell 36 cents, or 0.4%, to $84.92 a barrel by 0116 GMT while U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude was at $79.65 a barrel, down 21 cents, or 0.3%, amid thin trade during a U.S. public holiday. Both contracts rose more than 8% last week, the biggest weekly gain since October, after China’s crude imports rose 4% year-on-year in December while Lunar New Year travel brightens the outlook for transportation fuels. Gold prices steadied after climbing to their highest in nearly nine months on Monday, as a softer dollar and expectations of slower interest rate hikes from the U.S. Federal Reserve added to bullion’s shine. Spot gold held its ground at $1,918.66 per ounce, as of 0548 GMT. Earlier in the session, prices hit $1,929 per ounce, a peak since late April. U.S. gold futures rose 0.1% to $1,923.20. The dollar index slipped 0.3%, making greenback-priced gold a more attractive bet.