Monday January 17th


European markets edge higher; Credit Suisse slips 1.7% as chairman resigns

U.S. markets are closed on Monday for Martin Luther King Jr. Day. European stocks nudged higher on Monday as investors digested a string of corporate news and the latest growth data out of China. The pan-European Stoxx 600 added 0.3% in early trade, with basic resources climbing 0.75% to lead gains, while household goods slipped 0.7%. Markets in Europe and Asia Pacific were digesting the latest gross domestic product data from China on Monday, with official data showing the world’s second largest economy grew faster than expected between October and December. In Europe, meanwhile, two bits of corporate news dominated headlines. Credit Suisse became embroiled in yet another scandal as its chairman, Antonio Horta-Osorio, resigned after breaking coronavirus quarantine rules. Horta-Osorio had been tasked with overseeing the bank’s new strategy following a string of issues, including the meltdown of U.S. family hedge fund Archegos Capital and the collapse of British supply chain finance firm Greensill Capital. Credit Suisse shares were trading around 1.7% lower by 8.20 a.m. London time. Elsewhere, Unilever said Monday that it viewed GSK’s consumer arm as a “strong strategic fit.” GSK confirmed this weekend that it had rejected a bid — thought to have been worth £50 billion ($68.4 billion) — for its consumer health division. Unilever shares slipped 6% on Monday morning, while GSK rose by over 5%. China shares climbed Monday in a mixed trading session across the Asia-Pacific as official data showed the world’s second largest economy grew faster than expected between October and December. The Shanghai composite added 0.58% to 3,541.67 while the Shenzhen component gained 1.51% to 14,363.57. The rest of Asia-Pacific markets traded mixed. The Nikkei 225 in Japan rose 0.74% to 28,333.52 while the Topix index added 0.46% to 1,986.71. South Korean shares, however, faltered as the Kospi slipped 1.09% to 2,890.1 and the Kosdaq fell 1.39% to 957.90. Hong Kong shares also struggled as the Hang Seng index declined 0.68% to 24,218.03. Oil prices edged up on Monday as investors bet supply will remain tight amid restrained output by major producers with global demand unperturbed by the omicron coronavirus variant. Brent crude futures gained 9 cents, or 0.1%, to $86.15 a barrel by 0539 GMT. Earlier in the session, the contract touched its highest since Oct. 3, 2018 at $86.71. U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude was up 29 cents, or 0.4%, at $84.11 a barrel, after hitting $84.78, the highest since Nov. 10, 2021, earlier in the session. The gains followed a rally last week when Brent rose more than 5% and WTI climbed over 6%. Gold prices held steady on Monday as market participants gauged the global economic policy outlook, with inflation-based demand for bullion countering hawkish comments from U.S. Federal Reserve officials, supporting the dollar and Treasury yields. Gold is considered an inflationary hedge, but the metal is highly sensitive to rising U.S. interest rates, which increase the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding bullion. Spot gold was steady at $1,819.34 per ounce, as of 0615 GMT. U.S. gold futures edged up 0.2% to $1,819.70.