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European, US stocks advance, while oil retreats

By AFP - Jul 12,2021 - Last updated at Jul 12,2021

LONDON — European and US stock markets eked out gains on Monday, while investors waited for corporate results and economic data later in the week.

London's FTSE 100 index and counterparts in Frankfurt and Paris closed higher after spending part or much of the day in the red.

Earlier, Asian equities had rallied after New York markets posted fresh records on Friday.

On Monday, the Dow Jones index was modestly stronger still, in midday trade.

Oil prices retreated following a two-day advance however, on concerns that new virus spikes could dent demand for the commodity as governments are forced to impose fresh containment measures.

There was some cheer from news that the People's Bank of China had cut the amount of cash banks must keep in reserve, which it said would provide about $154 billion (130 billion euro) for the world's second-biggest economy.

However, analysts are worried that investors might be getting a little over-reliant on the ultra-loose monetary policies of central banks.

Federal Reserve boss Jerome Powell is to deliver a policy report to US lawmakers this week, and it will be closely watched for an idea about its rate-tightening plans in light of the economy's strong recovery and spiking virus cases.

Traders will check US inflation data later this week for clues on future interest rate hikes, and go over Chinese second-quarter growth figures and half-year results by US banks.

This week marks the start of the latest US corporate earnings season, with results from the likes of Bank of America, Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan.

So far, economies worldwide have held up, in part owing to optimism that the global rebound will continue next year despite worries that vaccines are not being rolled out fast enough in parts of the world as the Delta variant spreads.

Britain, the United States and Europe are seeing jumps in new cases, but deaths remain low and hospitalisations are manageable for now.

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