Global stock markets rallied and the dollar strengthened Monday as investors breathed a sigh of relief that Hurricane Irma, which has caused so much devastation in the Caribbean and in Florida, was weakening and that North Korea refrained from any potentially antagonistic move during a weekend holiday.
KEEPING SCORE: In Europe, Germany’s DAX was up 1.1 percent at 12,435 while the CAC 40 in France rose 1.1 percent to 5,167. The FTSE 100 index of leading British shares was 0.3 percent higher at 7,401. U.S. stocks were poised for a solid opening with Dow futures and the broader S&P 500 futures 0.5 percent higher.
PYONGYANG PARTY: North Koreans observed the country’s 69th founding anniversary with celebrations that included laying flowers and bowing at statues and portraits of past leaders. But Pyongyang did not carry out another test of an intercontinental ballistic missile, as South Korea’s government had warned it might do. Attention now moves to the United Nations, where the United States has called for a vote later Monday on new sanctions.
STORMY WEATHER: Investors were waiting for damage assessments after Hurricane Irma battered Florida’s coastline, knocking out power to millions and flooding the financial district in downtown Miami and toppling two construction cranes there. The storm was now headed for the heavily populated Tampa-St. Petersburg area, though in a weakened state. Irma was a Category 5 storm when it battered Cuba but weakened to Category 1 after hitting Florida.
MARKET INSIGHT: “Traders have started the new week hungry for risk, pushing equities and base metals higher on reduced concerns about North Korea and Hurricane Irma,” said Mike van Dulken, head of research at Accendo Markets.
DOLLAR BENEFITS TOO: The dollar, which has endured a few difficult weeks on a combination of factors, including elevated geopolitical risks, was tracking stocks higher. The euro was down 0.3 percent at $1.1998 while the dollar rose 0.7 percent to 108.62 yen.
ASIA’S DAY: Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 index jumped 1.4 percent to close at 19,545.77 as the yen came off recent highs against the dollar, easing pressure on exporters. South Korea’s Kospi advanced 0.7 percent to 2,359.08, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng added 1 percent to 27,955.49, and the Shanghai Composite in mainland China rose 0.3 percent to 3,376.42. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 added 0.7 percent to 5,713.10.
ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude rose 29 cents to $47.77 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange while Brent crude, used to price international oils, fell 18 cents to $53.60 a barrel in London.