Asian Markets are set to start the day slightly higher after European stocks advanced to a five- month high, snapping three days of losses, as France auctioned debt at a lower borrowing cost even after Standard & Poor's stripped the country of its top credit rating.
US markets were closed for the Martin Luther King Jr Holiday.
The Stoxx Europe 600 Index climbed 0.8% to 251.12 at the close, rising above its 200-day moving average to the highest level since Aug. 3. The benchmark measure earlier fell as much as 0.5%. The gauge erased its gains on Jan. 13, the final day of trading last week, amid reports S&P planned to downgrade several euro-area countries.
U.S. stock-index futures rose as French borrowing costs fell in the first sale of bills since Standard & Poor's downgraded the country. France sold 1.9 billion euros ($2.4 billion) of one-year notes today at a yield of 0.406%, down from 0.454% on Jan. 9. as investors shrugged off S&P's downgrade.
The euro weakened for a second day, falling to an 11-year low against the yen after Standard & Poor's stripped France of its top credit rating and cut eight other euro-region countries. The euro fell 0.1% to $1.2664, after dropping to $1.2626.
Oil climbed from the lowest price in almost four weeks as Iran said that a disruption to crude supplies through the Strait of Hormuz would cause a shock to markets that no country could manage. Crude for February delivery rose as much as $1.10 to $99.80 a barrel in electronic trading.
Gold firmed a touch on Monday in U.S. holiday-thinned trade, with firmer stock markets and a recovery in the euro from early lows taking some pressure off the metal, while traders digested last week's euro zone downgrades from Standard & Poor's. U.S. gold futures for February delivery were also up in electronic trading.
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