European stocks led world markets higher on Monday after parliamentary elections in France gave a majority to President Emmanuel Macron, an outcome that will give him more power to reform the economy.
KEEPING SCORE: France’s CAC 40 added 0.9 percent to 5,310 while Germany’s DAX rose 0.8 percent to 12,855. Britain’s FTSE 100 was up 0.6 percent at 7,506. U.S. shares were also set to drift higher with Dow and S&P 500 futures both edging up 0.3 percent.
FRANCE OUTLOOK: After Macron’s party got a majority in parliament, he is expected to reshuffle his government and look to pass a first set of laws this summer to reform France’s labor laws, among other things. The vote “will lend him enough support to rapidly implement his pro-business reform program,” said Marion Amiot, senior economist at Oxford Economics. She raised her forecast for French economic growth for 2018 to 1.7 percent from 1.6 percent.
BREXIT TALKS: Brexit negotiations were starting officially on Monday, with question marks over Britain’s approach after Prime Minister Theresa May lost her parliamentary majority in an election meant to strengthen her hand in the talks. Germany’s foreign minister is talking about a chance of a “soft” British exit from the European Union that keeps the U.K. in the bloc’s single market.
AMAZON GROCERIES: When Wall Street reopens, consumer stocks will be in focus after got shaken by online giant Amazon’s purchase of Whole Foods. Whole Foods and Amazon stocks jumped on Friday, while Wal-Mart, Costco and Target tumbled. Amazon already runs AmazonFresh, a grocery delivery service.
ASIA’S DAY: Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 gained 0.6 percent to 20,067.75, while Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 added 0.5 percent to 5,805.20. South Korea’s Kospi gained 0.4 percent to 2,370.90. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng edged up 1.1 percent to 25,916.12, while the Shanghai Composite rose 0.7 percent to 3,144.37.
ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude rose 18 cents to $44.92 a barrel. It rose 28 cents on Friday. Brent crude, used to price international oils, gained 21 cents to $47.58 a barrel in London.
CURRENCIES: The dollar edged down to 111.01 yen from 111.15 late Friday in Asia. The euro rose to $1.1212 from $1.1152.