Oil prices recovered some of their losses, with Brent crude futures trading at $36.55 a barrel, up 33 cents, or 0.90% for the day, after slumping to their lowest level in eleven years yesterday at $36.04. U.S. crude futures gained 28 cents, or 0.80% to $36.09 a barrel, away from a 7-year low touched yesterday at $33.98. Compounding pressures on oil prices, the northern hemisphere is undergoing a warmer than expected winter, diminishing heating oil demand.
Asian shares were largely flat in thin trading ahead of the Christmas holiday, with MSCI's index for Asian shares outside Japan inching up 0.07%. Japan's Nikkei barely moved, down 0.03% at 18,908. China's CSI300 index for the biggest listed companies in Shanghai and Shenzhen gave up some of its yesterday's big gains, down 0.45% for the day. Australia's S&P\ASX 200 edged up 0.10%, while Korea's KOSPI rose a solid 0.33%. India's Nifty slipped 0.10%.
Wall Street closed higher on Monday after a losing week, with Dow Jones up 123 points, or 0.72% at 17,251. NASDAQ added 45 points, or 0.93% to 4,968, making it the biggest riser. S&P 500 gained 15 points, or 0.78% to 2,021.
Sterling licked its wound after a bruising day, trading at 0.7334 to the euro, close to a two-month low reached yesterday at 0.7343. It inched up 0.05% against the yen to 180.50, after plunging to an eight-month trough yesterday at 179.90. Sterling was flat against the dollar at 1.4885, not far from another eight-month low touched on Thursday at 1.4868.
Gold gave up some its impressive profits reaped in the last couple of sessions, with the precious metal's futures sliding $3.80, or 0.35% to $1,076.80 an ounce. Silver futures followed suit, dipping 10 cents, or 0.70% to $14.12 an ounce. Copper futures lost 0.60% to $2.124 a pound, after scaling a five-week high yesterday at $2.142.
A basket of U.S. data is awaited today, with the final GDP estimate expected to lock in a growth of an annualized 2.1% for third quarter, a fairly brisk pace of growth that could help the dollar regain its footing. In another piece of data, House Price Index for October is forecast to have risen 0.4% m\m, decelerating from September's 0.8% rise. A higher inflation reading for houses is positive for the currency.