Europe seen higher as holiday cheer continues

European shares are expected to follow the rally in Asian and U.S. equities, opening higher on Monday.

European equities are expected to extend the holiday cheer seen in U.S. markets on Friday. Meanwhile in Asia, stock markets mostly advanced on a data-light Monday, with the rally on Wall Street boosting risk appetite. Japan’s benchmark index erased earlier gains, however, turning negative on news of a possible Ebola case in Tokyo.

Attention fell on Malaysia’s budget carrier AirAsia, with shares tumbling 7.8 percent to a four-week low. The stock’s dismal performance follows the disappearance of flight QZ8501, bound to Singapore from Indonesia early Sunday.

In Europe news, the euro has fallen to a near 28-month low versus the dollar as investors become nervous ahead of the final round of voting in a Greek presidential election on Monday. If Prime Minister Antonis Samaras’ preferred candidate fails to gain the 180 votes needed to win the election, a snap general election will be called.

In commodities, oil prices rose on Monday as clashes between different factions trying to control Libya stoked worries about supply. Libya is a member of the Organization of Petroleum-Exporting Countries (OPEC) which refused to cut production in November despite falling oil prices.

On Sunday, Algeria’s Energy Minister Youcef Yousfi said OPEC should cut production, according to the country’s official APS news agency, reported by Reuters, adding to other OPEC voices that have protested the group’s decision not to cut supply.

 Varchev Traders

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