BEIJING - Global stocks were mostly higher Monday as investors looked ahead to Janet Yellen's first comments before Congress as the new Federal Reserve chairwoman.
Oil edged down but stayed close to
$100 on optimism the American economy might be improving despite mixed U.S.
jobs data on Friday.
China's Shanghai Composite Index added
2 percent to 2,086.18, its highest close in a month. Tokyo's Nikkei 225 rose
1.8 percent at 14,718.34. Seoul, Taipei and Sydney also gained.
Hong Kong's Hang Seng gave up 0.4
percent to 21,561.31. Singapore, Bangkok and Jakarta also declined.
In Europe, France's CAC 40 added 0.3
percent to 4,241.85 and Germany's DAX rose 0.2 percent to 9,322.13. Britain's
FTSE 100 added 0.1 percent to 6,576.37.
Futures, however, augured a sluggish start for Wall Street. S&P 500 futures shed 0.3 percent and Dow futures were off 0.2 percent.The U.S. economy added 113,000 jobs in January, far below the 170,000 analysts had been expecting. But unemployment dipped to 6.6 percent, the lowest rate since the global financial crisis hit in late 2008, and more people sought jobs.
"The detailed data suggests the
U.S. is indeed moving towards a stronger economy," said strategist Evan
Lucas at IG Markets in a report.
In China, gains were led by
automakers, engineering, nonferrous metals and alternative energy-related
BYD Co., an automaker in which Warren
Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Inc. owns a stake, rose by the daily limit of 10
percent after the government announced it will extend subsidies for electric
cars beyond the program's planned 2015 end. Great Wall Motor Company Ltd.,
China's largest domestic SUV and pickup producer, gained 4.5 percent.
Investors were looking ahead to Janet Yellen's appearance Tuesday before Congress for signs of whether the Fed might
alter its plans to wind down its stimulus.
Rising stock markets suggested some
traders think the Fed might postpone another reduction in its monthly
bond-buying. But analysts warn that is far from certain.
The Fed had been buying $85 billion
worth of bonds every month in an effort to stimulate the economy by pushing
down commercial lending rates. The Fed said in December it will reduce that by
$10 billion each month. That would reduce February's purchases to $65 billion
if the Fed sticks to its plan.
"We think that the data is not
weak enough for the Fed to pause on tapering, but also not strong enough to
shift the base case of a modest recovery to a faster paced one," said
Mizuho Bank in a report.
Benchmark U.S. oil for March delivery
was down 33 cents at $99.55 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York
Mercantile Exchange. The contract gained $2.04 on Friday to close at $99.88 after
briefly peaking above $100 in mid-afternoon.
In currencies, the euro rose to
$1.3645 from $1.3610 late Friday. The dollar fell to 102.19 yen from 102.49