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Markets advance despite weak reports from US and China

US stocks advanced on Monday led by energy shares and healthcare stocks. The dollar didn’t change much versus most major currencies, with the ICE US dollar index, a measure of the dollar’s strength against a basket of six currencies, ending up 0.17%. The S&P 500 live data indicate S&P 500 rose 1.2% closing at 2,104.05. It is the broad market index’s first close above 2100 since August 17. All sectors recorded gains. Stock market advanced despite economic reports indicated manufacturing sector in October grew at slowest pace in two and a half years. Investors focused instead on the performance of energy industry and the rising merger and acquisition activity in healthcare industry. The gains in energy sector were driven by Exxon Mobile and Chevron, which rose 4.5% and 3.1% respectively after posting better than expected quarterly results on Friday. Pfizer rose 3.7 %, and AbbVie rallied 6.4%, providing the biggest boost to the healthcare sector. Dyax shot 28.4% on the news the British drugmaker Shire would buy the company for about $5.9 billion. US-listed shares of Canadian drugmaker Valeant, which engaged in tactics of acquiring rights to treatments and boosting prices, jumped 7.1% after short-seller Citron Research said it would not be releasing new allegations how the company inflated sales and engaged in accounting practices reminiscent of power trader Enron Corporation that collapsed in 2001 . Investors are now looking forward to this Friday’s employment report to determine whether the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates in December. Today at 15:45 CET the New York ISM index for October will be released. At 16:00 CET September Factory Orders will come out. The tentative outlook is negative for the dollar.

European stocks closed higher on Monday in a choppy trade after opening lower following the disappointing data on China’s manufacturing activity. Caixin China manufacturing purchasing managers index indicated the manufacturing activity contracted for an eighth straight month in October. Investor optimism was boosted later as PMIs for euro-zone and Germany came in higher than expected, easing concerns about the negative impact on euro-zone of slowing growth in China and emerging markets. The DAX 30 index recorded the biggest gain among the European indices as it rose 0.9%. Markets were also supported by the comments of European Central Bank (ECB) president Mario Draghi over the weekend that ECB was ready to do what it takes to keep its medium-term inflation target on course. Banks were among best performers after the Greek banks passed the ECB stress tests, indicating the 14 .4 billion euros of collective capital shortfall of four major banks was less than the 25 billion maximum allocated for bank recapitalisation as part of the country’s bailout agreement. French carmaker Renault gained 4.2 % on data indicating increasing market share as French car registrations rose 1% in October. No important economic data are expected today in euro-zone. At 19:00 CET ECB president Draghi will speak in Frankfurt.

Japan’s markets are closed today for a Culture Day holiday. As market participants expected the Reserve Bank of Australia kept its cash rate today unchanged at a record low of 2.0%, but said further easing was possible.

Several commodity futures prices are rising today after yesterday’s retreat following weak Chinese PMI data.

Brent oil prices are falling today on concerns over weak global demand and rising oil production in Russia.

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