Oil prices registered considerable gains on Monday after the International Energy Agency expected a fall in U.S. shale output, which was reinforced by a drop in the weekly rigs count, and a string of defaults by small and medium energy companies across America, as they fail to pay back their loans on the back of extremely low crude prices.
Brent crude futures jumped $1.62, or nearly five percent to trade at $34.65 a barrel, keeping up its wide premium over its U.S. rival, which rose a similar $1.75, or about six percent to hover around $31.39 a barrel, edging steadily away from the $30 level.
European shares rallied, buoyed by surging energy shares, with the pan-European index FTSEurofirst 300 advancing 1.50% to above the level of 1,300 again, while Germany's DAX gained 170 points, or 1.81% to trade at 9,555. Britain's resource-rich FTSE index climbed 90 points, or 1.51% to hover around 6,039.
Sterling extended its massive losses today, plumbing a seven-year nadir against the dollar as worries grow over the possibility of a British exit from the European Union, as political forces fight it out in the kingdom, with the economic future hanging in the balance.
The pound slumped 2.26% to 1.4076, threatening to go below 1.400 for the first time in several years, while also tumbling 1.22% versus the euro to trade at 0.7822. Sterling hit its lowest since 2013 against Japan's yen at 159.31, down a heavy 1.82% on the day.