The Nikkei Index ended lower on Monday, slipping to a one-week low in volatile trade, tracking losses on Wall Street, while the continuing conflict in Gaza, as well as the Ukraine drained investor risk appetite.
The Hang Seng Index traded higher on Monday, despite the weak performance from the property developer sector, while shares on mainland China gained on positive market comments from the Chinese Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC), who ascribed the recent stock market to an improving economy, more liquidity, and market reforms.
According to Reuters, European markets are expected to open slightly higher on Monday, recovering from last week's declines, although the advance may be capped on worries over the health of the Euro zone banking sector despite Portugal agreeing to spend $6.58-billion to rescue its largest listed bank.
Reuters reports that shares on Wall Street closed lower for a second straight day on Friday with seven of the 10 S&P 500 sectors ending in the red to push the benchmark index to its biggest weekly decline since 2012 on the back of the Argentinian default, while data showing U.S. job growth came in below market expectations also weighed on sentiment.
Business Day reports that the JSE All Share Index ended in negative territory on Friday with resources and platinum mining shares leading the decline, after Asian and European markets dropped on the back of concern of further emerging market contagion following Argentina’s default on its debt.
The Rand is trading firmer at R10.6751 against the US Dollar, with the Euro quoted at R14.3268 and the British Pound at R17.9363.
The gold price found good support above $1,290 an ounce level on Monday as weak U.S. jobs data and softer equity markets encouraged some safe-haven buying. Gold was last trading at $1,293.40, with the platinum price quoted at $1,460.25, while the palladium price has slipped to $863.25.
Brent was last trading slightly lower at $105.05 a barrel.